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Pesticides and Water Quality

How Pesticides Move to Other Locations

When you apply a pesticide, it may drift in the air or be washed into a storm drain by irrigation or rain.

  • During application, airborne particles can drift and land on surface water, or rain can wash particles from the air.
  • For several days after pesticide application, irrigation and rain may wash pesticide residues into storm drains.
  • Chemicals may also enter storm drains directly or indirectly through spills, illegal dumping, or rinse water from product containers.
  • Stormwater runoff empties into creeks and creeks empty into rivers.

Click on image to enlarge

Illustration by Celeste Rusconi

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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