by Dorothea Withington Hanchar
This report is available as a pdf below
Data on the occurrence of agricultural chemicals in ground wafer in Tennessee are sparse. The surficial alluvial aquifer is an important source of domestic water supply in West Tennessee, and potentially is subject fo contamination from the application of agricultural chemicals in the area. Nineteen shallow wells completed in the alluvial aquifers in areas of high density agricultural use were sampled in the winter and again in the summer of 1988 to ascertain the occurrence of agricultural chemical in ground water. Although no triazine herbicides or organophosphorus insecticides were detected in any of the wells sampled, elevated nitrite plus nitrate (as nitrogen) concentrations were detected. Results from the winter sampling period indicate a range of nitrite plus nitrate (as nitrogen) concentrations of less than 0.1 to 7.8 milligrams per liter with a median concentration of 2.6 milligrams per liter. Results from the summer sampling period indicate a range of nitrite plus nitrate (as nitrogen) concentrations of less than 0.1 to 8.9 milligrams per liter, median, 2.5 milligrams per liter. The highest concentrations occurred in the shallowest wells, and, in one instance, in a shallow well near a heavily irrigated field.
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