Role of Organic Soil Amendments in Controlling Ground Water Pollution Due to Pesticides: An Effective Approach

Role of Organic Soil Amendments in Controlling Ground Water Pollution Due to Pesticides: An Effective Approach

Anjana Srivastava (G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India) and P. C. Srivastava (G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3126-5.ch004

Abstract

In soil, pesticide residues are subjected to various transformations and transportation processes. Leaching is one of the major transportation processes responsible for ground water contamination. Organic amendments used in agriculture are known to improve the physico-chemical properties of soil at low cost and are regarded as one of the most suitable technologies for sustainable agriculture. These amendments play an important role in the retention of pesticides because of increased adsorption of these chemicals on soil. Sorption of pesticides which are weak acids or bases, is influenced by soil pH because they assume a positive or negative charge, or no charge depending on the pH. Leaching of such pesticides to ground water can be prevented to a great extent by mixing of organic amendments to soil because they enhance the ability of pesticide retention on soil and or promote their microbial degradation as well during in situ decomposition of organic amendments in soil.
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Background

Pesticides enter surface and ground water primarily as runoff and leaching from crop fields (Aspelin, 1994). There are several factors which influence a pesticides' potential to contaminate water:

  • The ability of the pesticide to dissolve in water (solubility).

  • Environmental factors, such as, soil, weather, season, and distance to water sources

  • Application methods and other practices associated with the pesticide use.

Groundwater contamination is higher when there is no crop or a young crop. A large actively growing crop has the ability to reduce pesticide concentration through a variety of mechanisms (Gustafson, 1993):

  • Larger plants consume more water from the soil and therefore, reduce the ability of a pesticide to migrate through the soil and enter streams or groundwater.

  • Larger plants can also collect precipitation which prevents pooling of water and run-off from the area

  • Root zones enrich the microbial community of the soil which then enhances the biodegradation of the pesticide by bacteria.

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