Fact Sheet 143-00

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Berndt, M.P., and Hatzell, H.H., 2001, Does Diazinon Pose a Threat to a Neighborhood Stream in Tallahassee, Florida?: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-143-00, 4 p.


The water quality of Lafayette Creek was studied from March 1993 to December 1995 as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S.Geological Survey. Diazinon was specifically studied in the Lafayette Creek watershed, a residential area in northeastern Tallahassee, Fla.

Diazinon and other pesticides applied directly to the soil or grass can be washed off into nearby storm drains, ditches, streams, and lakes. Heavy rainstorms can wash substantial amounts of chemicals into streams and lakes, including diazinon that was applied several weeks earlier. Sampling streams during rainstorms for water quality can sometimes provide clues about how pesticides and other contaminants are transported to surface water.

Diazinon was detected in 92% of all samples collected from Lafayette Creek and it was detected throughout the year during the sampling period. However, concentrations were low (0.002 to 0.28 micrograms per liter) and do not pose a risk to human health. About 20% of the samples exceeded the aquatic-life criterion--a guideline that establishes the maximum acceptable level of concentrations of pesticides for protecting aquatic life.

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