A 6-month study was begun in April 2001 to determine the concentrations of pesticides or oil and grease in selected stream reaches and lakes within the Ouachita, Tensas, and Black River Basins in northeastern Louisiana. During April through September 2001, six monthly water samples for analysis of pesticides were collected from 22 sites: 17 sites were on 11 streams, and 5 sites were on 5 lakes. During Apirl through July 2001, four monthly samples for analysis of oil and grease were collected from 5 sites: 4 sites were on three streams, and 1 site was on a lake.
A total of 131 water samples were analyzed for 17 pesticides (15 insecticides and 2 herbicides). The following classes of pesticides, as classified from the Pesticide Analysis (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Laboratory), are reported: organochlorine, nitrogen-phosphorus, and carbamate. The 8 pesticides detected in samples, in decreasing frequency, were as follow: atrazine, molinate, methyl parathion, 4,4'-DDT, carbofuran, diazinon, toxaphene, and 4,4'DDE.
Organochlorine pesticides (insecticides) represented the majority (12 out of 17) of the pesticides analyzed. Of those 12 organochlorine pesticides, only 3 (4,4'-DDT, 4,4'-DDE, and toxaphene) were detected in the 131 samples. Of the organochlorine pesticides, 4,4'-DDT was detected most frequently (in 11 percent of the samples), and concentrations ranged from 1.22 to 4.70 ng/L (nanograms per liter).
Nitrogen-phosphorus pesticides were the most frequently detected and abundant pesticides. Of all the pesticides analyzed, atrazine and molinate (nitrogen-phosphorus herbicides) were the pesticides most frequently detected (in 93 and 21 percent of the samples), had the highest and most wide-ranging concentrations (10.8 to 15,100 ng/L and 10.0 to 11,600 ng/L), and were most widely distributed throughout the study area.
Carbofuran, a carbamate insecticide, was detected at 8 of the 22 pesticide data-collection sites and in 9.2 percent of the 131 samples analyzed for pesticides. Concentrations of carbofuran ranged from 30.7 to 946 ng/L.
Of the 22 pesticide data-collection sites, the frequency of pesticide detection was highest at 6 sites: Boeuf River near Arkansas-Louisiana State Line, Boeuf River near Fort Necessity, Big Creek at Louisiana Highway 135 near Winnsboro, Crew Lake at Crew Lake, Joe's Bayou near Waverly; and Bayou Macon at Louisiana Highway 562 near Wisner. All water samples analyzed for oil and grease had concentrations less than the reporting limit of 5 milligrams per liter.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Pesticides and oil and grease in selected streams and lakes in northeastern Louisiana, 2001