Pesticide Leaching & Runoff Management

Pesticide Leaching & Runoff Management

Runoff and/or leaching can occur when pesticides are carried off the application site into water such as rivers, lakes and streams, wells, storm sewers, or into groundwater. Runoff/leaching can occur when too much pesticide is applied or is spilled on the surface, too much rainwater or irrigation water occurs in a short period of time, or highly water soluble pesticides are used.

To gain a better understanding of how, where and why water runs off and how to prevent pollution read the following UNL publications:

Targeting Watershed Management Practices for Water Quality Protection: a Heartland Regional Water Coordination Publication, RP195
An overview of how to target best management practices in watersheds or landscapes to maximize the impact of investments in water quality protection.  


Pesticides and Groundwater: An Applicator's Map and Guide to Prevent Groundwater Contamination (School of Natural Resources Web site contains index to county maps and PDFs)

  • To learn about protecting water when using herbicides, refer to the "Environmental Considerations When Applying Herbicides" section of the Guide for Weed Management.
  • County specific information on the conservation of soil, water, air, and related plant and animal resources is available in the Electronic Field Office Technical Guide developed by the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Several means are available to help prevent runoff and leaching of pesticides including:

  • The use of anti-siphon and anti-backflow devices when filling pesticide application equipment to prevent contamination of well or domestic water supplies.

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