Temporal monitoring of the pesticide 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP) and nitrate and indicators of mean groundwater age were used to evaluate the transport and fate of agricultural chemicals in groundwater and to predict the long-term effects in the regional aquifer system in the eastern San Joaquin Valley, California. Twenty monitoring wells were installed on a transect along an approximate groundwater flow path. Concentrations of DBCP and nitrate in the wells were compared to concentrations in regional areal monitoring networks. DBCP persists at concentrations above the US Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant level (MCL) at depths of nearly 40 m below the water table, more than 25 years after it was banned. Nitrate concentrations above the MCL reached depths of more than 20 m below the water table. Because of the intensive pumping and irrigation recharge, vertical flow paths are dominant. High concentrations (above MCLs) in the shallow part of the regional aquifer system will likely move deeper in the system, affecting both domestic and public-supply wells. The large fraction of old water (unaffected by agricultural chemicals) in deep monitoring wells suggests that it could take decades for concentrations to reach MCLs in deep, long-screened public-supply wells, however. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.
Additional publication details
Temporal trends in concentrations of DBCP and nitrate in groundwater in the eastern San Joaquin Valley, California, USA