Degradation of the Pesticides Mecoprop and Atrazine in Unpolluted Sandy Aquifers

Mikala Klint, Erik Arvin, Bjørn K. Jensen

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The potential for biodegradation of the pesticides mecoprop ((+/-)-2-(4-chloro-2-methyl-phenoxy)propionic acid) and atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) in an aerobic aquifer was investigated in laboratory batch experiments. The experiments were performed with groundwater and suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment collected from a pristine sandy aquifer. Following a lag period of 35 to 40 d, mecoprop in a concentration of 100 mu-g/L was degraded in 30 d in groundwater at 10 degree C. New additions of 100 to 140 mu-g mecoprop/L were degraded within a week. In suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment, mecoprop in the concentration range 75 to 300 mu-g/L was degraded in 15 d, following a lag period of less than 7 d. Experiments performed with sediments taken from different depths indicate that there was a considerable variation in the degradation potential within the aquifer. Atrazine was not degraded during an incubation period of 539 d in groundwater and 174 d in suspensions of groundwater and aquifer sediment. The addition of nutrients, primary substrates (acetate and naphthalene), and a pH or temperature increase had not effect on the recalcitrance of atrazine.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)262-266
Publication statusPublished - 1993


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