General Pesticides

Form commonly found in stormwater:

2,4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D); glyphosate (Roundup)

Solubility in water:

Most pesticides are soluble in water.[i]

Adverse human impacts:

Certain pesticides can irritate human tissue, damage the nervous, immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, increase the risk of cancer and even cause death.[iii]

Adverse impacts on the environment:

Pesticides are most frequently found in water at concentrations that are toxic to aquatic plants and invertebrates, but not fish.[iv]
Still, the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion interfere with salmonids’ ability to swim, find food, reproduce, and escape predators.[v]
Studies have also linked high pesticide levels with hormone imbalances in fish.[vi]
DDT causes acute and chronic health problems for birds, including thin-shelled eggs and reproduction difficulties.[vii]

Pesticides Stormwater Treatment Products

Pesticides in Stormwater FAQs

What are pesticides?2019-07-25T10:55:28+00:00

Pesticides are man-made substances used to control unwanted pests or vegetation. Pesticides are usually made up of a combination of active and inert chemicals and materials that can break down in the environment into substances often more toxic than the original materials. Examples of pesticides include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, defoliants and desiccants.

How do pesticides get into industrial stormwater runoff?2019-07-25T11:15:04+00:00

Pesticides get into stormwater by being dissolved or attached to soil particles and carried away in runoff. Pesticides can also enter the groundwater if the pesticide is highly water soluble and applied before a large rainfall event or regular irrigation. A form commonly found in stormwater is 2,4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); glyphosate (Roundup). [ii] DDT was in common use to control mosquitos in the United States until its residue was found to have serious effects on wildlife, especially birds and fish.

Why should pesticides be removed from industrial stormwater runoff?2019-07-25T11:15:18+00:00

Pesticides should be removed from stormwater discharge because their presence in water sources can have serious, adverse effects on human health and the viability of fish and wildlife. Certain pesticides can irritate human tissue, damage the nervous, immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, increase the risk of cancer and even cause death.[iii]

Pesticides most frequently found in water at concentrations that are toxic to aquatic plants and invertebrates are not toxic to fish.[iv] However, the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion interfere with salmonids’ ability to swim, find food, reproduce, and escape predators.[v] Studies have also linked high pesticide levels with hormone imbalances in fish.[vi] DDT causes acute and chronic health problems for birds, including thin-shelled eggs and reproduction difficulties.[vii]

How are pesticides removed from industrial stormwater runoff?2019-07-25T11:15:31+00:00

Enhanced, passive media filtration and advanced polishing can be used to effectively remove pesticides from stormwater prior to discharge. If further reduction is necessary to remove pesticides, advanced polishing technologies can be used. Both types of BMPs combined in a treatment train will remove pesticides from stormwater prior to discharge to help facilities meet benchmarks or NALs. The Aquip passive media filter and the Purus polisher in combination offer an advanced level of pesticide removal from stormwater. Learn more about our stormwater media filtration and polishing technologies.

Background:

Pesticides are transported in stormwater runoff either dissolved in water or attached to soil particles. Pesticides can also enter the groundwater if the pesticide is highly water soluble and applied at times with large volumes of rainfall or irrigation. To prevent pesticides from polluting nearby waterways, pesticides should be applied in small doses and in the absence of heavy rain or irrigation.[ix] Investigate non-toxic alternatives when possible.

DDT was banned for use in the U.S. in 1973, 25 years after the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his invention of the chemical. Since then, the use of DDT has been limited in most countries. DDT is still being used in African countries for the control of mosquitoes and the tsetse fly which spread deadly diseases such as malaria and sleeping sickness.[x]
Chlorodane, dieldrin, diazinon, and chlorpyrifos are other common pesticides that are banned for use in the U.S[xi][xii]
Pesticide use in the US is on the rise. In 2007, 80 pesticides were newly registered for use in the U.S.[xiii]
Over one billion tons of pesticides are used each year in the US alone.[xiv]

U.S. EPA recommended water quality criteria: [viii]

Freshwater – Aquatic Organisms (Total Recoverable; pH 6.5-9.0)Saltwater– Aquatic OrganismsHuman Health for the consumption of
Acute (µg/L)Chronic (µg/L)Acute (µg/L)Chronic (µg/L)Water + Organism (µg/L)Organism Only (µg/L)
Dieldrin
0.240.0560.710.00190.0000520.000054
Diazinon
0.170.170.820.82nana
Chlorpyrifos
0.0830.0410.0110.0056nana

Appendices

[i] International Programme on Chemical Safety, WHO/FAO Data Sheet on Pesticide: Glyphosate (1996) available at http://www.inchem.org/documents/pds/pds/pest91_e.htm#1.3.2.

[ii] Extoxnet, Pesticide Information Profile: 2,4-D (1993)  http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/24d-ext.html.

[iii] NW Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Are Pesticides Hazardous to Our Health? 19 J. of Pesticide Reform 4 (1999).

[iv] U.S. Geological Survey, The Quality of Our Nation’s Waters Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water 1992-2001 FAQs, http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/pubs/circ1291/faq.html#1(last visited Aug. 11, 2010).

[v] Earthjustice, Fisheries Service Finds Three Pesticides Imperil West Coast Salmon, (Aug. 13, 2008) http://www.earthjustice.org/news/press/2008/fisheries-service-finds-three-pesticides-imperil-west-coast-salmon.

[vi] U.S. Geological Survey, Pesticides are a potential concern for human health and aquatic life http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1225/html/human.html (last visited Aug. 11, 2010).

[vii] Caroline Cox, Pesticides and Birds: From DDT to Today’s Poisons, 11 J. of Pesticide Reform 2 (1991).

[viii] U.S. EPA, National Recommended Water Quality Criteria, http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/criteria/wqctable/index.html#U (last visited July 7, 2010).

[ix] British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Land, Pesticide Wise: Environmental Fate,  http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/pesticides/c_2.htm (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[x] Science Clarified, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), http://www.scienceclarified.com/Co-Di/DDT-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane.html (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xi] U.N. International Programme on Chemical Safety, WHO/FAO Data Sheet on Pesticide: Chlorodane (1996) available at http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/chlordane-ext.html.

[xii] U.S. Geological Survey, The Quality of our Nation’s Waters
Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water 1992-2001 FAQs, http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/pubs/circ1291/faq.html#1 (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xiii] U.S. EPA, Multi-year Workplan for Registration of Conventional Pesticides – New Chemicals, http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/workplan/newchem.html (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xiv] U.S. EPA, Pesticides: Topical and Chemical Fact Sheet, (2008) available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/securty.htm.(last visited Aug. 9, 2010).
The StormwateRx Aquip® industrial filtration system uses an innovative enhanced sand filtration process to effectively remove soluble and insoluble aluminum and other metals as well as oils, suspended solids, organics and nutrients from industrial stormwater runoff.

The Purus™ Stormwater Polishing System (previously known as the AquiPlus) provides the most advanced level of stormwater treatment, and is designed for challenging stormwater conditions or targeted pollutant removal.

2019-07-26T08:33:02+00:00