Pesticide occurrence and persistence entering recreational lakes in watersheds of varying land uses

Jessica A. Satiroff, Tiffany L. Messer, Aaron R. Mittelstet, Daniel D. Snow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Currently little is known of newer pesticide classes and their occurrence and persistence in recreational lakes. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) assess average pesticide concentrations and loadings entering recreational lakes in three mixed land use watersheds throughout the growing season, (2) evaluate pesticide persistence longitudinally within the lakes, and (3) perform an ecotoxicity assessment. Six sampling campaigns were conducted at three lakes from April through October 2018 to measure the occurrence and persistence during pre, middle, and post growing season. Polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) were placed in streams near lake inlets and monthly samples were collected for analysis of twelve pesticides. Additional monthly grab water samples were taken at each POCIS location and at the midpoint and outlet of each lake. All pesticide samples were analyzed using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) and individual pesticide loading rates were determined. Occurrence and persistence of specific pesticides were significantly different between lakes in varying watershed land uses. Specifically, the recreational lake receiving predominately urban runoff had the highest load of pesticides, likely in the form of biocides, entering the waterbody. Concentrations of imidacloprid exceeded acute and chronic invertebrate levels for 11% and 61% of the sampling periods, respectively, with the recreational lake receiving predominately urban runoff having the most occurrences. Findings from this study are critical for preventing and mitigating potential effects of pesticides, specifically applied as biocides in urban landscapes, from entering and persisting in recreational lakes. Pesticides were persistent entering and residing within recreational lakes with imidacloprid exceeding ecotoxicity limits in waters receiving predominately urban runoff throughout the growing season.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116399
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No. 2018NE310B . The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biocides
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Fate and transport
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Pesticides
  • Recreational lakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Pesticide occurrence and persistence entering recreational lakes in watersheds of varying land uses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this