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Pesticides have not been found frequently in the ground waters of Ohio even though large amounts of agricultural pesticides are applied to fields in Ohio every year. State regulators, including representatives from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Departments of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, are striving to limit the presence of pesticides in ground water at a minimum. A proposed pesticide management plan for the State aims at protecting Ohio's ground water by assessing pesticide-leaching potential using geographic information system (GIS) technology and invoking a monitoring plan that targets aquifers deemed most likely to be vulnerable to pesticide leaching.
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Ohio Department of Agriculture, assessed the sensitivity of mapped soil units in Ohio to pesticide leaching. A soils data base (STATSGO) compiled by U.S. Department of Agriculture was used iteratively to estimate soil units as being of high to low sensitivity on the basis of soil permeability, clay content, and organic-matter content. Although this analysis did not target aquifers directly, the results can be used as a first estimate of areas most likely to be subject to pesticide contamination from normal agricultural practices.
High-sensitivity soil units were found in lakefront areas and former lakefront beach ridges, buried valleys in several river basins, and parts of central and south- central Ohio. Medium-high-sensitivity soil units were found in other river basins, along Lake Erie in north-central Ohio, and in many of the upland areas of the Muskingum River Basin. Low-sensitivity map units dominated the northwestern quadrant of Ohio.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Analysis of the sensitivity of soils to the leaching of agricultural pesticides in Ohio
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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