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Occurrence and distribution of pesticides and volatile organic compounds in ground water and surface water in Central Arizona Basins, 1996-98, and their relation to land use

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2001-4144

National Water-Quality Assessment Program
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Abstract

Samples of ground water and surface water from the Sierra Vista subbasin, the Upper Santa Cruz Basin, and the West Salt River Valley were collected and analyzed to determine the occurrence and distribution of pesticides and volatile organic compounds in central Arizona. The study was done during 1996-98 within the Central Arizona Basins study unit of the National Water-Quality Assessment program. This study included 121 wells and 4 surface-water sites in the 3 basins and the analyses of samples from 4 sites along the Santa Cruz River that were part of a separate study. Samples were collected from 121 wells and 3 surface-water sites for pesticide analyses, and samples were collected from 109 wells and 3 surface-water sites for volatile organic compound analyses.


Certain pesticides detected in ground water and surface water can be related specifically to agricultural or urban uses; others can be related to multiple land uses. Effects from historical agriculture are made evident by detections of DDE in ground-water and surface-water samples collected in the West Salt River Valley and detections of atrazine and deethylatrazine in the ground water in the Upper Santa Cruz Basin. Effects from present agriculture are evident in the seasonal variability in concentrations of pre-emergent pesticides in surface-water samples from the West Salt River Valley. Several detections of DDE and dieldrin in surface water were higher than established water-quality limits. Effects of urban land use are made evident by detections of volatile organic compounds in ground water and surface water from the West Salt River Valley. Detections of volatile organic compounds in surface water from the Santa Cruz River near Nogales, Arizona, also are indications of the effects of urban land use. One detection of tetrachloroethene in ground water was higher than established water-quality limits.


Water reuse is an important conservation technique in the Southwest; however, the reuse of water provides a transport mechanism for pesticides and volatile organic compounds to reach areas that are not normally affected by manmade compounds from specific land-use activities. The most complex mixture of pesticides and volatile organic compounds is in the West Salt River Valley and is the result of water-management practices and the combination of land uses in this basin throughout history.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Occurrence and distribution of pesticides and volatile organic compounds in ground water and surface water in Central Arizona Basins, 1996-98, and their relation to land use
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
2001-4144
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Tucson, AZ
Description:
ix, 101 p.
Number of Pages:
111
Time Range Start:
1996-01-01
Time Range End:
1998-12-31
Country:
United States
State:
Arizona
Other Geospatial:
Central Arizona Basins
Projection:
Albers Equal-Area Conic projection
Scale:
100000