A reconnaissance study of six drainage basins in New Jersey was conducted to evaluate the presence of pesticides from agricultural runoff in surface water. In the first phase of the study, surface-water public-supply drainage basins throughout New Jersey that could be affected by pesticide applications were identified by use of a Geographic Information System. Six basins--Lower Mine Hill Reservoir, South Branch of the Raritan River, Main Branch of the Raritan River, Millstone River, Manasquan River, and Matchaponix Brook--were selected as those most likely to be affected by pesticides on the basis of calculated pesticide-application rates and percentage of agricultural land. The second phase of the project was a short-term water-quality reconnaissance of the six drainage basins to determine whether pesticides were present in the surface waters. Twenty-eight surface-water samples (22 water-quality samples, 3 sequentially collected samples, and 3 trip blanks), and 6 samples from water-treatment facilities were collected. Excluding trip blanks, samples from water-treatment facilities, and sequentially collected samples, the pesticides detected in the samples and the percentage of samples in which they were detected, were as follows: atrazine and metolachlor, 86 percent; alachlor, 55 percent; simazine, 45 percent; diazinon, 27 percent; cyanazine and carbaryl, 23 percent; linuron and isophenfos, 9 percent; and chlorpyrifos, 5 percent.Diazinon, detected in one stormflow sample collected from Matchaponix Brook on August 6, 1990, was the only compound to exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended Lifetime Health Advisory Limit. Correlation between ranked metolachlor concentrations and ranked flow rates was high, and 25 percent of the variance in metolachlor concentrations can be attributed to variations in flow rate. Pesticide residues were detected in samples of pretreated and treated water from water-treatment facilities. Concentrations of all pesticides detected in the treated water were lessthan the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended Lifetime Health Advisory Limits.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Agricultural pesticides in six drainage basins used for public water supply in New Jersey, 1990
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
USGS Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],