Pesticides and Urban Use
Increased pesticide usage in the urban environment on home gardens, residential yards, and business or government landscaping has become a growing concern in recent decades. As urban sprawl covers more land, including aquifer recharge zones, and analytical technology improves, state and federal monitoring programs are detecting more pesticides in urban areas.
To meet the growing needs of groundwater protection from urban impacts, the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee's Agricultural Chemicals Subcommittee has recently started to address the unique issues surrounding urban pesticides and groundwater. The most important issue is the general health and safety concerns from pesticide impacts on water supply wells that provide drinking water. TCEQ's Public Drinking Water Section monitors all PWS Points-of-Entry for the state, maintains a database of analytical results. Additionally, the TWDB also monitors some urban wells for general water quality. Through cooperative monitoring with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), many of these wells are being monitored for atrazine and metolachlor.
One way to help prevent water contamination is to reduce pesticide use through integrated pest management. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)is a sustainable approach to managing pests that combines biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks. IPM is used by many schools in Texas.
Integrated Pest Management Links
- The Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service licenses and regulates pest management professionals who apply pesticides in and around structures.
- Texas A&M University's Integrated Pest Management Program
- Texas Master Gardener Program