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The pesticides molinate, thiobencarb, and carbofuran are applied to rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in the Sacramento Valley, California, each year during April through June. These pesticides are of concern because of their adverse effects on water quality and their potential adverse effects on aquatic life. Therefore, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) mandated the holding of irrigation-return water in rice fields to increase pesticide degradation and dissipation before the water is released to the Sacramento River. The CRWQCB also established performance goals to maintain drinking water quality for the city of Sacramento and to protect the habitat for aquatic life. The objectives of this...
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Yields of suspended sediment from watersheds in the Quincy and Pasco Basins of Washington State have been reduced by the use of sprinkler irrigation on cropland previously in furrow irrigation. Mean daily yields of suspended sediment from nine watersheds sampled during April and May 1994 ranged from 0.4 kg/ha of irrigated cropland in a watershed with no furrow irrigation to 19 kg/ha in a watershed where 58% of irritated cropland was in furrow irrigation. About 67% of the variation in the yields can be attributed to irrigation method. Temporal trends also indicated that use of sprinkler irrigation reduced sediment yields. Mean daily yields of suspended solids from one of the watersheds decreased from 0.3 kg/ha in...
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The relationship between local ground water flows and NO3- transport to the channel was examined in three well transects from a natural, wooded riparian zone adjacent to the Shingobee River, MN. The hillslope ground water originated as recharge from intermittently grazed pasture up slope of the site. In the hillslope transect perpendicular to the stream, ground water NO3- concentrations decreased from ???3 mg N L-1 beneath the ridge (80 m from the channel) to 0.01 to 1.0 mg N L-1 at wells 1 to 3 m from the channel. The Cl- concentrations and NO3/Cl ratios decreased toward the channel indicating NO3- dilution and biotic retention. In the bankside well transect parallel to the stream, two distinct ground water environments...
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Occurrence and fate of 45 pesticides and 40 pesticide degradates were investigated in four contrasting agricultural settings—in Maryland, Nebraska, California, and Washington. Primary crops included corn at all sites, soybeans in Maryland, orchards in California and Washington, and vineyards in Washington. Pesticides and pesticide degradates detected in water samples from all four areas were predominantly from two classes of herbicides—triazines and chloroacetanilides; insecticides and fungicides were not present in the shallow ground water. In most samples, pesticide degradates greatly exceeded the concentrations of parent pesticide. In samples from Nebraska, the parent pesticide atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N′-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine]...
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Solubilization and transport of phosphorus (P) to the water environment is a critical environmental issue. Flocs resulting from neutralizing acid mine drainage (AMD) were tested as a possible lowcost amendment to reduce the loss of soluble P from agricultural fields and animal wastewater. Flocs were prepared by neutralizing natural and synthetic solutions of AMD with limestone, lime, ammonium hydroxide, and sodium hydroxide. Phosphorus sequestration was tested in three distinct environments: water, soil, and manure storage basins. In water, flocs prepared from AMD adsorbed 10 to 20 g P kg-1 dry floc in equilibrium with 1 mg L-1 soluble P. Similar results were observed for both Fe-based and A1-based synthetic flocs....
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Since 1982, the Iowa Groundwater Monitoring (IGWM) Program has been used to sample untreated groundwater from Iowa municipal wells for selected agricultural chemicals. This long-term database was used to determine if concentrations of select agricultural chemicals in groundwater have changed with time. Nitrate, alachlor [2-chloro-2′-6′-diethyl-N-(methoxymethyl)-acetanilide], atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine), cyanazine [2-[[4-chloro-6-(ethylamino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]amino]-2-methylpropionitrile)], and metolachlor [2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl) acetamide] were selected for this temporal analysis of the data. Conclusive temporal changes in frequency of detection...
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Excessive loading of sediment and nutrients to rivers is a major problem in many parts of the United States. In this study, we tested the non-parametric Seasonal Kendall (SEAKEN) trend model and the parametric USGS Quality of Water trend program (QWTREND) to quantify trends in water quality of the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling from 1976 to 2003. Both methods indicated decreasing trends in flow-adjusted concentrations of total suspended solids (TSS), total phosphorus (TP), and orthophosphorus (OP) and a generally increasing trend in flow-adjusted nitrate plus nitrite-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentration. The SEAKEN results were strongly influenced by the length of the record as well as extreme years (dry or wet) earlier...
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Limited information is available on streams in the Adirondack region of New York, although streams are more prone to acidification than the more studied Adirondack lakes. A stream assessment was therefore undertaken in the Oswegatchie and Black River drainages; an area of 4585 km2 in the western part of the Adirondack region. Acidification was evaluated with the newly developed base-cation surplus (BCS) and the conventional acid-neutralizing capacity by Gran titration (ANCG). During the survey when stream water was most acidic (March 2004), 105 of 188 streams (56%) were acidified based on the criterion of BCS < 0 ??eq L-1, whereas 29% were acidified based on an ANCG value < 0 ??eq L-1. During the survey when stream...
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Where Walnut Creek flows across the South Skunk River alluvial aquifer, it provides a potential source of herbicides and herbicide metabolites. This straightened reach of the creek loses water and dissolved contaminants to the alluvial aquifer through a layer of fine-grained flood plain deposits. Estimates of potential flux of chemicals were based on measurements taken during baseflow in April 1994 before herbicides were applied to the watershed and in June 1994 after chemical application and when stream discharge included runoff and tile-drainage water. Hydraulic head measurements between the creek and flood plain deposits and between the creek and aquifer confirmed the potential for downward groundwater flow during...
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Metal concentrations in soil may be elevated considerably when metal-laden sewage sludge is spread on land. Metals in earthworms (Lumbricidae) from agricultural fields amended with sewage sludge and from experimental plots were examined to determine if earthworms are important in transferring metals in soil to wildlife. Earthworms from four sites amended with sludge contained significantly (P . < 0.05) more Cd (12 times), Cu (2.4 times), Zn (2.0 times), and Pb (1.2 times) than did earthworms from control sites, but the concentrations detected varied greatly and depended on the particular sludge application. Generally, Cd and Zn were concentrated by earthworms relative to soil, and Cu, Pb, and Ni were not concentrated....
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Litter was collected from eight sites at distances as far as 33 km from an AI reduction plant in western Tennessee. As a result of an accumulation of fine litter (< 4.75 mm) the weight of the litter per unit area was abnormally high at the two sites within 2 km of the plant. Compared to litter collected far from the plant, it had a lower fiber content, was more sapric, and was less acid. Fluoride emissions from the plant were suggested as the probable cause of litter changes. Concentrations of water-extractable and acid-extractable F- in the litter, the 0- to 5-cm soil layer, and the 5- to 15-cm soil layer were strongly correlated with distance from the plant. Total acid-extractable F- in the litter and upper 15...
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Tobit regression models were developed to predict the summed concentration of atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] and its degradate deethylatrazine [6-chloro-N-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5,-triazine-2,4-diamine] (DEA) in shallow groundwater underlying agricultural settings across the conterminous United States. The models were developed from atrazine and DEA concentrations in samples from 1298 wells and explanatory variables that represent the source of atrazine and various aspects of the transport and fate of atrazine and DEA in the subsurface. One advantage of these newly developed models over previous national regression models is that they predict concentrations (rather than detection...
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Selenium stable isotope ratios are known to shift in predictable ways during various microbial, chemical, and biological processes, and can be used to better understand Se cycling in contaminated environments. In this study we used Se stable isotopes to discern the mechanisms controlling the transformation of oxidized, aqueous forms of Se to reduced, insoluble forms in sediments of Se-affected environments. We measured 80Se/76Se in surface waters, shallow ground waters, evaporites, digested plants and sediments, and sequential extracts from several sites where agricultural drainage water is processed in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Selenium isotope analyses of samples obtained from the Tulare Lake Drainage...
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We examined concentrations and sulfur isotopic ratios (34S/32S, expressed as ??34S in parts per thousand [???] units) of sulfate in surface water, ground water, and rain water from sites throughout the northern Everglades to establish the sources of sulfur to the ecosystem. The geochemistry of sulfur is of particular interest in the Everglades because of its link, through processes mediated by sulfate -reducing bacteria, to the production of toxic methylmercury in this wetland ecosystem. Methylmercury, a neurotoxin that is bioaccumulated, has been found in high concentrations in freshwater fish from the Everglades, and poses a potential threat to fish-eating wildlife and to human health through fish consumption....
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Although water from 20 to 25% of shallow farmstead wells in northern Missouri has concentrations of nitrate (NO3/-) exceeding 10 mg L-1 as nitrogen (N), many potential sources for this NO3/- are usually present. A field experiment was designed to trace and isolate the amount of a single application of N fertilizer lost to a glacial-till aquifer and runoff from a 400 m2 corn (Zea mays L.) plot with bromide (Br-) and isotopically labeled (15N) fertilizer. Soil at the plot is a Albaquic Hapludalf of the Adco Series containing a 61 cm claypan beneath 41 to 43 cm of topsoil. Groundwater levels ranged from 0.38 to 2.40 m below the land surface. Transport of water and NO3/- to the saturated zone was not substantially retarded...
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Lead arsenate pesticides were widely used in apple orchards from 1925 to 1955. Soils from historic orchards in four counties in Virginia and West Virginia contained elevated concentrations of As and Pb, consistent with an arsenical pesticide source. Arsenic concentrations in approximately 50% of the orchard site soils and approximately 1% of reference site soils exceed the USEPA Preliminary Remediation Goal (PRG) screening guideline of 22 mg kg-1 for As in residential soi, defined on the basis of combined chronic exposure risk. Approximately 5% of orchard site soils exceed the USEPA PRG for Pb of 400 mg kg-1 in residential soil; no reference site soils sampled exceed this value. A variety of statistical methods...
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Stormwater management infrastructure is utilized in urban areas to alleviate flooding caused by decreased landscape permeability from increased impervious surface cover (ISC) construction. In this study, we examined two types of stormwater detention basins, SDB-BMPs (stormwater detention basin-best management practice), and SDB-FCs (stormwater detention basin-flood control). Both are constructed to retain peak stormwater flows for flood mitigation. However, the SDB-BMPs are also designed using basin topography and wetland vegetation to provide water quality improvement (nutrient and sediment removal and retention). The objective of this study was to compare SDB (both SDB-BMP and SDB-FC) surface soil P concentrations,...
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This study evaluated decadal-scale changes of nitrate concentrations in groundwater samples collected by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program from 495 wells in 24 well networks across the USA in predominantly agricultural areas. Each well network was sampled once during 1988-1995 and resampled once during 2000-2004. Statistical tests of decadal-scale changes of nitrate concentrations in water from all 495 wells combined indicate there is a significant increase in nitrate concentrations in the data set as a whole. Eight out of the 24 well networks, or about 33%, had significant changes of nitrate concentrations. Of the eight well networks with significant decadal-scale changes of nitrate, all except...
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Understanding nutrient pathways to streams will improve nutrient management strategies and estimates of the time lag between when changes in land use practices occur and when water quality effects that result from these changes are observed. Nitrate and orthophosphate (OP) concentrations in several environmental compartments were examined in watersheds having a range of base flow index (BFI) values across the continental United States to determine the dominant pathways for water and nutrient inputs to streams. Estimates of the proportion of stream nitrate that was derived from groundwater increased as BFI increased. Nitrate concentration gradients between groundwater and surface water further supported the groundwater...
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Dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLS) are important pollutants because of their widespread use as chemical and industrial solvents. An example of the pollution caused by the discharge of DNAPLs is found at the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, where trichloroethylene (TCE) has been discharged directly into the unsaturated zone. This discharge has resulted in the formation of a plume of TCE-contaminated water in the aquifer downgradient of the discharge. A zone of dark-colored groundwater containing a high dissolved organic C content has been found near the point of discharge of the TCE. The colored-water plume extends from the point of discharge at least 30 m (100 feet) downgradient. Fulvic acids isolated from the...