Pesticides in ground water of the United States, 1992-1996

Ground Water
By: , and 



During the first cycle of the National Water Quality Assessment (1992–1996), ground water in 20 of the nation's major hydro-logic basins was analyzed for 90 pesticide compounds (pesticides and degradates). One or more of the pesticide compounds examined were detected at 48.4% of the 2485 ground water sites sampled. However, approximately 70% of the sites where pesticides were detected, two or more pesticide compounds analyzed were present–documenting the prevalence of pesticide mixtures in ground water. The pesticide concentrations encountered were generally low, with the median total concentration (summation of concentrations for the 90 pesticide compounds) being 0.046 μg/L. Pesticides were commonly detected in shallow ground water beneath both agricultural (60.4%) and urban (48.5%) areas. This is an important finding because, although agricultural activities have long been associated with pesticide contamination, urban areas have only recently been recognized as a potential source of these types of compounds. Pesticides with higher frequencies of detection were generally those with more extensive use, greater environmental persistence, and greater mobility in ground water (lower soil-water partition coefficients).

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Pesticides in ground water of the United States, 1992-1996
Series title Ground Water
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2000.tb00684.x
Volume 38
Issue 6
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Iowa Water Science Center, Washington Water Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 858
Last page 863
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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