USGS:  Science for a changing world

Pesticide Distributions in Surface Water

John K. Stamer and Michael E. Wieczorek
Journal American Water Works Association, v. 88, no. 11, November 1996, p. 79-87.

Distributions of concentrations of 46 pesticides were documented from May 1992 through March 1994 for Maple Creek near Nickerson, Neb., and Platte River at Louisville, Neb. As their source of public water supplies, Lincoln and the western part of Omaha withdraw groundwater from the adjacent alluvium near the Platte River site, which is hydraulically connected to the Platte River. Organonitrogen herbicides dominated the pesticide distributions at each site. Variations in the distributions of pesticides at the two sites partly reflect differences in land use and land management practices. Diazinon, an insecticide used in urban areas, was commonly detected at the Platte River site but not at the Maple Creek site. Of the 46 pesticides analyzed at the Platte River site, the herbicides atrazine and alachlor were more likely to exceed their respective maximum contaminant levels of 3.0 and 2.0 micrograms per liter; cyanazine was more likely to exceed the health advisory level of 1.0 micrograms per liter.

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