Water Center


Date of this Version



Published in Environmental Pollution 273 (2021) 116399



Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.

Includes supplemental material.


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.