Agricultural chemicals: Estimating their occurrence in Illinois' groundwater

S. Schock, C. Ray, E. Mehnert

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Results from many different research projects indicate that nitrate and, to a lesser extent, pesticides are found in both public and private water supplies in Illinois. In rural Illinois, agricultural chemicals occur more frequently and at higher concentrations in large-diameter, dug and bored wells than in small-diameter drilled wells. The potential for contamination in small-diameter wells appear to decrease as the depth to the uppermost aquifer material increases. Where detection of agricultural chemicals occur, there is great variation in concentration and compound. No studies discussed in this paper have been designed to identify the source of the agricultural chemicals in groundwater, although there is consensus about contamination from point sources. Many experts feel that non-point sources are influencing groundwater since not all contaminated wells are located near point sources. This suggests that pathways such as macropores, fractures, and man-made intrusions into soils and rock have more impact on the transport of contaminants than was originally expected. Sufficient information exists to justify a sampling or monitoring program. The authors feel, however, that more process-oriented research is necessary for planning and regulatory purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-358
Number of pages10
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the IAWQ 1st International Conference on Diffuse (Nonpoint) Pollution: Sources, Prevention, Impact, Abatement - Chicago, IL, USA
Duration: Sep 19 1993Sep 24 1993


  • Agricultural chemicals
  • Groundwater protection
  • State of Illinois
  • Wells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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