Main content area

Screening of currently used pesticides in water, sediments and biota of the Guadalquivir River Basin (Spain)

Masiá, Ana, Campo, Julián, Vázquez-Roig, Pablo, Blasco, Cristina, Picó, Yolanda
Journal of hazardous materials 2013 v.263 pp. 95-104
agricultural runoff, climate change, effluents, fish, liquid chromatography, monitoring, nonpoint source pollution, pesticide residues, pesticides, rivers, screening, sediment contamination, sediments, tandem mass spectrometry, triazines, urban areas, wastewater, wastewater treatment, water pollution, watersheds, Spain
The occurrence of 50 currently used pesticides and their transformation products in surface and waste waters, sediment and fish in the Guadalquivir River Basin was determined in 2010 and 2011. After selective sample extraction, pesticides were identified and quantified by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS). The contamination profile in water and sediments is marked by the presence of organophosphorus and triazines. Transformation products were even at higher concentrations than parent pesticides. A wider range of pesticides was present in water than in sediments but none of them were detected in fish. The mean concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 13.0ng/L in water and from 0.1 to 13.2ng/g d.w. in sediment. The spatial distribution of most pesticides was consistent with the agricultural activities of the area or their urban applications. The waste water treatment plant effluents that impact the river are minor sources for few pesticides but for most of them run-off would be the most important contribution. The temporal distribution showed differences between both sampling campaigns related to the river flow. The low-flow produced a pesticide concentration effect, generating higher levels in water and accumulation in sediments. This forecasts a hazard in future scenarios if the current situation of the climate change and water scarcity evolves to more critical conditions highlighting the need of these monitoring studies.