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 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)


[i] nternational Programme on Chemical Safety, WHO/FAO Data Sheet on Pesticide: Glyphosate (1996) available at

[ii] Extoxnet, Pesticide Information Profile: 2,4-D (1993)

[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, visited Aug. 11, 2010).

[v] Earthjustice, Fisheries Service Finds Three Pesticides Imperil West Coast Salmon, (Aug. 13, 2008)

[vi] U.S. Geological Survey, Pesticides are a potential concern for human health and aquatic life (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, (last visited July 7, 2010).

[ix] British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Land, Pesticide Wise: Environmental Fate, (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[x] Science Clarified, DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xi] U.N. International Programme on Chemical Safety, WHO/FAO Data Sheet on Pesticide: Chlorodane (1996) available at

[xii] U.S. Geological Survey, The Quality of our Nation’s Waters
Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water 1992-2001 FAQs, (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xiii] U.S. EPA, Multi-year Workplan for Registration of Conventional Pesticides – New Chemicals, (last visited Aug. 9, 2010).

[xiv] U.S. EPA, Pesticides: Topical and Chemical Fact Sheet, (2008) available at 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.

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