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Little Topashaw Creek - Seasonal Variations of Pesticides - Introduction
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eroding banks


Picture of a crop duster applying pesticides aerially on both sides of the channel


     Pesticide use is an integral part of agriculture in the United States.  Streams are often the first aquatic systems to receive pesticide laden effluent from agricultural fields during storm events. Determining pesticide runoff from non-point sources during high flow is an important part of understanding the extent of potential contamination in streams and assists in assessing the following concerns:

  1. Assess overall water quality impairment due to current agricultural practices.
  2. Assess impacts and degradation of aquatic systems(i.e. habitat).
  3. Address the limited availability of seasonal pesticide contamination data during high flows in streams.
  4. Aid in constructing pesticide TMDLs (total maximum daily loads) for streams.

     The purpose of this study was to examine seasonal patterns in concentrations of 12 current-use pesticides, two historic-use pesticides and 3 metabolites during 2000-2001.