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Environ Sci Technol. 2014;48(1):234-43. doi: 10.1021/es4028343. Epub 2013 Dec 13.

Insecticide washoff from concrete surfaces: characterization and prediction.

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Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Environmental Protection Agency , Sacramento, California, 95812, United States.


Pesticide runoff from impervious surfaces is a significant cause of aquatic contamination and ecologic toxicity in urban waterways. Effective mitigation requires better understanding and prediction of off-site transport processes. Presented here is a comprehensive study on pesticide washoff from concrete surfaces, including washoff tests, experimental data analysis, model development, and application. Controlled rainfall experiments were conducted to characterize washoff loads of commercially formulated insecticides with eight different active ingredients. On the basis of the analysis of experimental results, a semimechanistic model was developed to predict pesticide buildup and washoff processes on concrete surfaces. Three pesticide product specific parameters and their time dependences were introduced with empirical functions to simulate the persistence, transferability, and exponential characteristics of the pesticide washoff mechanism. The parameters were incorporated using first-order kinetics and Fick's second law to describe pesticide buildup and washoff processes, respectively. The model was applied to data from 21 data sets collected during 38 rainfall events, with parameters calibrated to pesticide products and environmental conditions. The model satisfactorily captured pesticide mass loads and their temporal variations for pesticides with a wide range of chemical properties (log KOW = 0.6-6.9) under both single and repeated (1-7 times) rainfall events after varying set times (1.5 h∼238 days after application). Results of this study suggested that, in addition to commonly reported physicochemical properties for the active ingredient of a pesticide product, additional parameters determined from washoff experiments are required for risk assessments of pesticide applications on urban impervious surfaces.

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