Trends of Pesticides and Nitrate in Ground Water of the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, 1993–2003
- Lonna Frans *
Pesticide and nitrate data for ground water sampled in the Central Columbia Plateau, Washington, between 1993 and 2003 by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program were evaluated for trends in concentration. A total of 72 wells were sampled in 1993–1995 and again in 2002–2003 in three well networks that targeted row crop and orchard land use settings as well as the regional basalt aquifer. The Regional Kendall trend test indicated that only deethylatrazine (DEA) concentrations showed a significant trend. Deethylatrazine concentrations were found to increase beneath the row crop land use well network, the regional aquifer well network, and for the dataset as a whole. No other pesticides showed a significant trend (nor did nitrate) in the 72-well dataset. Despite the lack of a trend in nitrate concentrations within the National Water-Quality Assessment dataset, previous work has found a statistically significant decrease in nitrate concentrations from 1998–2002 for wells with nitrate concentrations above 10 mg L−1 within the Columbia Basin ground water management area, which is located within the National Water-Quality Assessment study unit boundary. The increasing trend in DEA concentrations was found to negatively correlate with soil hydrologic group using logistic regression and with soil hydrologic group and drainage class using Spearman's correlation. The decreasing trend in high nitrate concentrations was found to positively correlate with the depth to which the well was cased using logistic regression, to positively correlate with nitrate application rates and sand content of the soil, and to negatively correlate with soil hydrologic group using Spearman's correlation.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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