U.S. Water News Online
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- After testing some 348 wells, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has determined that 94 percent of the samples showed no detectable concentrations of pesticides. Of the 22 wells where pesticides were detected, concentrations were within federal safe drinking levels, the department said.
According to Charles Chisolm, head of the department's Office of Pollution Control, the results indicate that the overall quality of Mississippi's groundwater supply is relatively unaffected by agricultural activities. "To my pleasure and not to my surprise," the study shows that most of Mississippi's groundwater is clean," noted Chisolm. "We were glad to have been able to collect the data and are pleased the results are as positive as they are," he added.
Under a directive of the Mississippi Legislature, the department is authorized to establish groundwater standards and to monitor groundwater for agricultural chemicals and other pollutants. Ruth Morgan, a pesticide impact assessment specialist at Mississippi State University, observed that the state's "effective natural filtering system and good agricultural practices are protecting the groundwater from dangerous chemical levels."
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