Water is one of our most important resources. The Earth’s freshwater is stored in lakes, rivers, and streams, or below ground in aquifers. Water collecting on the ground, or in a stream, river, lake, sea or ocean, is called surface water.
Groundwater is below the soil surface and develops from the seepage or infiltration of water into the ground. As water moves, both on the surface, and under the ground, suspended or dissolved substances such as pesticides can move with it. Because surface and groundwater are interconnected, cross contamination can occur.
This site provides information on the environmental fate of pesticides, how water may become contaminated with pesticides, and how contamination can be prevented. A glossary of important terms concerning water will explain terms that may be unfamiliar to you.
Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS and Ron Gardner
- Pesticide Fate — Learn what happens to pesticides after they are applied.
- The Problem of Runoff — Pesticide movement by runoff is explained
- The Problem of Leaching — Pesticide leaching is explained.
- Prevent Water Contamination — Practices that prevent contamination are explained on this page.
- Using Buffers to Reduce Pesticide Runoff and Water Erosion — This section describes buffers used to reduce runoff and water erosion potential.
- Wells and Contamination — Active and Abandoned wells and pesticide pollution.
- Glossary of Water Terminology — Learn the language of water.
- Water Education Quiz Module — Test your knowledge of surface and groundwater runoff.
- Resources and References — Publications used in the development of this information.
Compiled by Ron Gardner