Project Update          March  1990
NFS Completes Sampling

       On February 19,1990 the final sample was collected in EPA's National'Survey of Pesticides in
Drinking Water Wells. The two-year sampling effort concluded at a domestic well site in Lincoln County,
South Dakota.

       Since April 1988, EPA has sampled 566 community water system wells and 783 domestic weus -
some m every State, including Alaska and Hawaii  These wells were statistically selected to represent the
nation's 13,000,000 domestic wells and 51,000 community water systems.

       The Survey's goal is to develop national estimates of die  frequency and concentration of pesticides
in drinking water wells, and f*»""«» the  relationships among pesticide contamination, groundwater
vulnerability, and pesticide use.

A Nationwide Effort

       Planning and implementing the Survey required a lot of hard work and cooperation from all levels
of government, citizens, community weD owners and operators, the Cum community, and private industry.

       EPA Headquarters staff worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and
U.S. Geologic Survey. In the field, staff in EPA's ten regional offices channeled information and
coordinated sampling schedules.  States took on the responsibility of sampling community water systems
and notifying well owners and operators of sampling results.  County extension agents provided pesticide
use information for the area surrounding community and domestic wells, and county health officers were
briefed on questions to expect from their constituents

        Because of the Survey's rigorous  sampling protocol, before the sampling started, more than 300
State personnel participated in- specifically designed NFS training  courses at 54 different locations across
the country.

       The NPS sampling sites ranged from a domestic well with a rope and bucket to very sophisticated
community water systems with hundreds of wells.  The randomly  selected wells took the sampling teams
to colleges, correctional institutions, trailer parks, military installations, retirement villages, and a convent.

        Our refusal rate was very low and samplers were welcomed.  As a result, in addition to
successfully collecting samples, thousands of questionnaires were filled out by well owners, operators, and
local area experts.  The questions covered well construction, pesticide use patterns, cropping, pesticide
storage, and a description of the  area around each wefl. This information win play an important role in
the data  analysis phase of the Survey.

        The sampling teams had to be ingenious anJ persistent to get the job done. Once samples were
taken, the bottles had to be packed in ice and shipped overnight  to assure that all the samples reached
the labs within 24 hours of collection. The Survey used a total of 27 tons of ice, begged or bought from
local convenience stores, restaurants, and State labs. Surprisingly, ice was hardest to come by in Alaska!
In Hawaii, the ice would have melted before it reached all the labs stateside, so the samples were first
snipped to California, then  re-iced and sent to  the five participating NPS  labs (including one across the
continent in Florida).

Of coarse, an enormous number of bottles were also required to conduct the Survey. From start
to fnW more than 30,000 bottles were shipped tosaruplers and then off to the labs after sampling was
completed. A variety of vehicles were used to get all the boxes of sample bottles from a sampling site to
the closest shipping office in one trip. The challenge was to determine what model passenger car bad
enough cargo space to accommodate a sampling team plus 5 to 8 boxes.
In At 1r . commercial and bush planes were required to fly the sample bottles, the sampler -
and ice - from Anchorage to an Ftfr n 0 village in Bristol Bay, 4 LI’ fra
Before the field work ended, our samplers survived snowsrorms in New Png nd , Hurricane Hugo
ii South Carolina, and the earthquake in San Francisco. EPA extends a heartfelt th nh cyeryoac -
nanonwide - who lent a hand in the sampling effort
Spreading the Word
A joint project of EPA’s Office of Drinking Water and Office of Pesticides Programs, the
National Pesticide Survey is one of the most comprehensive surve ever undertaken by the Agency.
From the bcgii” extensive outreach efforts were i thted, with briefinge for industry, farm groups,
environme’ talic’, Congressional staffs , and Governors’ representatives.
Members of the NPS staff at EPA Headquarters are playing an active role in this outreach effort.
Hcz4quarrers gaff recently made presentations at the:
• Freshwater Foundation Annual Meeting in Minneapolis;
• National Drinking Water Advisory Council meeting in W Hng ou, DC;
• Midwest Groundwater Protection meeting us Dlinois
• Integrated Pest Management Conference in W uliington, DC;
• National Well Water Association Conference in Iowa;
• Association of American Pesticide Control Officials meeting in W’-thrngton, DC;
• American Society of Agricultural Png neers meeting in W h g?o; DC;
• Maryland Section of the Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting
in Wi- hington, DC;
• Friends of the Earth/Environment Policy Institute Annual Ground Water Conference
in Iowa; and
• National Association of County Health Officers Executive Board meeting in Illinois.
For information on the National Pesticide Survey, please contact Jeanne Briskin, NPS Director, at:
National Pesticide Survey
Office of Drinking Water (WH-550)
US. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, S.W.
W ) higron, D.C 406
What Did We Find?.
it is still too early to report final Survey results. Even though sampling baa ended, the
laboratories are still conducting their analyses.
Each NPS sample is tested for 127 different pestid 1 s pesticide by-Products, and ni atcs using
eight different laboratory methods and rigorous quality assurance procedures. Ths process - from the
time the bottle is filled at the sampling site to the time the testing results are complete - takes
approximately 16 weeks.

According to Ni’S Direstor Jeanne Bnskin, a prelinsinmy NPS report will be available this fall it
will connst. of the most straightforward results available for both community and domestic wells, such as
the percentage and number of wells in which at least one pesticide was found.
A final report is scheduled for winter 1990-199L In addition to discussing policy issues, it will
include relational analyses of information from the well owner questionnaires, and regression analysis, such
as analyses of the relationship between aquifer vulnerability and pesticide use and pesticide conI mination
of wells.
NPS Analytes
The following list ident i the 127 different anal tes induded in the National Pesticide Survuy.
Adflumfea D thmprVpsm’ Mem
A1a ior .l ,3 .DEblo roprapme
Jd iazb .1,3-Dich1orcpea e Meulb a DA
Mcu*bual DADK
A1dma b ealfooc Dorprvp Me jb tha DK
Aidrin D icIdr i o ’ Mevinpb e a
Amciryn’ D i oo. MGK 264
Atnsoo Dipnamid ’ Moliasre
A Wnc, dealk$aled D oeoo ealfooc
Buban P u1fcioo milforidc
Bqpn’ Diaron ’ 4-N luvpbeaol
Ben ’ ffl B ’
Bromacil’ Fa 4”ulfan I Oumy l•
Bn L r Fadorujfon U
&aty4an ’ Endcnulfan u ” 1 ” . Peboiate
Caiba ’ on-Pcrmethrln
Cuboforun’ Eadume aldeh de
foma — _
Czbof arcn pbcocl.3 I PJ .np .
Ca1bOfwI n-30H Eluid imale Prome 7 o
Cazbo n ’ Bib’ ___
lo rcmbc n ’ Poa-ipbea Procamide metabolite
— galfooc
c l o rda nep mma Fcumiphou nilfouide
Qilorobcerihatc Fh.omctviva ’
Iorothalooil’ FI ,u idooe _____
o rp rvpbam HQI.alpba
canarine ’ HQI .beta St oIas
Cycloste HQI .dclta Suep
2 ,4-D ’ HQ1 . .” . 2,4.5.T’
Dalapon’ Hepeaeblor Tcbothiuro ’
2,4-DB Hep k r epoui& ’ Tc*sd1’
DCPA Boon’ Teibv yn
D A diacid metaboBte 5-Ilydrosy Dicamb . 2 .4.5-1?’
4.4’DDD Linoros Trlw 1 mrfoo
4,4’.DDE Meuphos Tri cydam lc
4.4’.DDT Meth,o zit Tri wa l ln ’
Diarinon’ Mrtbomyt’ V ’ .
Dioumb.’ Mthoqcbio r ’
3,S-DrchlorobE d M b$ pam o
These p ” 4 ’ . am primary importaam m the Swwy beea e their potential conmoam io driak cg wamr yolk.
These ‘priont r” 4 ” onto so I4 4I . ’M be ma thá prope ty so so grosod vuter under normal ow
o4ido . .a , prior io ground waler. hiØl dumes ales na ooal1y. or health cifecta mace ms.

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