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Occurrence of pesticides in Dutch drinking water sources

Sjerps, Rosa M.A., Kooij, Pascal J.F., van Loon, Arnaut, Van Wezel, Annemarie P.
Chemosphere 2019 v.235 pp. 510-518
acetamiprid, business enterprises, drinking water, groundwater, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, metabolites, monitoring, surface water, thiamethoxam, water quality standards, Netherlands
We determined pesticide occurrence in groundwater and surface water sources used for drinking water production in The Netherlands, using both routine monitoring data from Dutch drinking water companies and by studying the presence of newly authorized pesticides in drinking water sources.An analytical LC-MS/MS method was developed for 24 recently authorized pesticides, selected based on their mobility and persistence, and applied in a Dutch/Belgian ground- and surface water monitoring campaign. 15 of these pesticides were detected, including seven in concentrations above the water quality standard from the Water Framework Directive. Two neonicotinoids were detected in highest concentrations: acetamiprid (1.1 μg/L) and thiamethoxam (0.4 μg/L).The routine monitoring data was collected over 2010–2014 in The Netherlands, covering 408 pesticides and 52 metabolites. 63 pesticides and 6 metabolites were prioritized according to their presence in groundwater, surface water and drinking water. The vast majority of the pesticides in routine monitoring has not been detected or only in low concentrations.Overall, the study shows that pesticides are of major concern in drinking water sources across the Netherlands. In two third of the abstraction areas pesticides and/or metabolites have been detected. In one third of the abstraction areas pesticide and/or metabolites concentration exceeded water quality standards according to the Water Framework Directive. The results emphasize that monitoring should focus on priority pesticides, since the vast majority of the pesticides has a low priority. The occurrence of recently authorized pesticides in drinking water sources demonstrates the importance to keep routine monitoring methods up to date.