Pesticides in surface water from three agricultural basins in south-central Georgia, 1993-97

Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4196




Twenty-two of 43 pesticides analyzed were detected in 128 water samples collected from Tucsawhatchee Creek, the Little River, and the Withlacoochee River. These streams drain agricultural basins in south-central Georgia and were sampled from March 1993 through June 1995. Herbicides were detected more frequently than insecticides. The most frequently detected herbicides were atrazineand metolachlor and the most frequently detected insecticide was carbaryl. Pesticide concentrations in the three streams were low and did not exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. The maximum pesticide concentration was 2.6 ug/L (micrograms per liter) for propargite, a miticide detected in only one sample. The maximum concentrations of the remaining 21 pesticides were less than 0.25 ug/L. The median concentrations were equal to the method detection limit for all pesticides except atrazine (0.008 ug/L) and metolachlor (0.012 ug/L). The ratio of herbicidedetections to nondetections was largest in the planting season, smaller in the harvest season and smallest in the fallow season for the three basins.The same pattern existed for the insecticide ratios in the Little River and the Withlacoochee River. Pairwise correlations between concentrations of atrazine and metolachlor and four parameters (discharge, and concentrations of dissolved organiccarbon, suspended organic carbon, and suspended fine sediment) were evaluated for each stream. The strongest correlations existed between metolachlor and mean daily discharge and metolachlor and fine sediment in the Withlacoochee River. The only significant correlation for the Little River was between atrazine and suspended fine sediment.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Pesticides in surface water from three agricultural basins in south-central Georgia, 1993-97
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Contributing office(s):
South Atlantic Water Science Center
12 p. :ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ;28 cm.
United States
Other Geospatial:
Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain Study Unit, Little River, Tucsawhatchee Creek, Withlacoochee River