Bed sediments of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries were sampled during October 7–11, 1985, and analyzed for organochiorine pesticide residues in order to determine their areal distribution and to evaluate and prioritize needs for further study. Residues of DDD, DDE, DDT, and dieldrin are widespread in the fine-grained bed sediments of the San Joaquin River and its tributaries despite little or no use of these pesticides for more than 15 years. The San Joaquin River has among the highest bed-sediment concentrations of DDD, DDE, DDT, and dieldrin residues of major rivers in the United States. Concentrations of all four pesticides were correlated with each other and with the amount of organic carbon and fine-grained particles in the bed sediments. The highest concentrations occurred in bed sediments of westside tributary streams. Potential tributary loads of DDD, DDE, DDT, and dieldrin to the San Joaquin River were computed from bed-sediment concentrations and data on streamfiow and suspended-sediment concentration in order to identify the general magnitude of differences between streams and to determine study priorities. The estimated loads indicate that the most important sources of residues during the study period were Salt Slough because of a high load of fine sediment, and Newman Wasteway, Orestimba Creek, and Hospital Creek because of high bed-sediment concentrations. Generally, the highest estimated loads of DDD, DDE, DDT, and dieldrin were in Orestimba and Hospital Creeks.
Additional Publication Details
Organochlorine pesticide residues in bed sediments of the San Joaquin River, California
Journal of the American Water Resources Association