The reliability of the Goulden large-sample extractor in preconcentrating pesticides from water was evaluated from the recoveries of 35 pesticides amended to filtered stream waters. Recoveries greater than 90% were observed for many of the pesticides in each major chemical class, but recoveries for some of the individual pesticides varied in seemingly unpredictable ways. Corrections cannot yet be factored into liquid-liquid extraction theory to account for matrix effects, which were apparent between the two stream waters tested. The Goulden large-sample extractor appears to be well suited for rapid chemical screening applications, with quantitative analysis requiring special quality control considerations. ?? 1991 American Chemical Society.