Trace elements and pesticides in Salton Sea area, California

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Concentrations of numerous potentially toxic trace elements and pesticides were determined in water, sediment, and biota from the Salton Sea area in southestern California. Comparison of results with data from other studies in this area and from other areas, and with various water-quality standards or criteria, indicate that selenium probably is the principal contaminant of concern in the Salton Sea basin and that it probably is related to agricultural practices. Selenium is mobilized in the subsurface drainwater produced by agricultural irrigation and transported in ditches and rivers, some of which pass through or near the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge before entering the Salton Sea. Some selenium apparently is incorporated into the food chain. In response to the finding of elevated selenium residues in fish from the area by State agencies, the Imperial County Health Department has issued a health advisory restricting or prohibiting human consumption of fish from the Salton Sea and drains.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Trace elements and pesticides in Salton Sea area, California
Year Published:
Publ by ASCE
Publisher location:
New York, NY, United States
First page:
Last page:
Conference Title:
Planning Now for Irrigation and Drainage in the 21st Century
Conference Location:
Lincoln, NE, USA
Conference Date:
18 July 1988 through 21 July 1988