A method for the determination of the widely used herbicide diuron, three degradates of diuron, and six neonicotinoid insecticides in environmental water samples is described. Filtered water samples were extracted by using solid-phase extraction (SPE) with no additional cleanup steps. Quantification of the pesticides from the extracted water samples was done by using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Recoveries in test water samples fortified at 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) for each compound ranged from 75 to 97 percent; relative standard deviations ranged from 5 to 10 percent. Method detection limits (MDLs) in water ranged from 3.0 to 6.2 ng/L using LC/MS/MS. The method was applied to water samples from two streams in Georgia, Sope Creek and the Chattahoochee River. Diuron and 3,4-dichloroaniline (3,4-DCA) were detected in 100 and 80 percent, respectively, of the samples from the Chattahoochee River, whereas Sope creek had detection frequencies of 15 percent for diuron and 31 percent for 3,4-DCA. Detection frequencies for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, were 60 percent for the Chattahoochee River and 85 percent for Sope Creek. Field matrix-spike recoveries for each compound, when averaged over four water samples, ranged from 79 to 100 percent. The average percentage difference between replicate pairs for all compounds detected in the field samples was 10.1 (± 4.5) percent.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Analysis of the herbicide diuron, three diuron degradates, and six neonicotinoid insecticides in water-Method details and application to two Georgia streams
Scientific Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey
California Water Science Center, South Atlantic Water Science Center