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Water and Pesticides
Aug 31, 2018

Clean waters provide healthy ecosystems for wildlife, plants and people. Inland fresh water is the source for 70% of U.S. drinking water supply, so protecting that supply from unnecessary contamination is important. Multiple federal and state agencies, including the EPA, work together to regulate pesticides and protect our waters.

Pesticides can be beneficial for the control of pests like weeds and insects, but every pesticide (including organic pesticides) has some level of toxicity to organisms that live in or drink water. Read the label completely before using a pesticide in or near water. Pesticide labels have "environmental hazard statements" that:

  • Describe the product's relative risk to waterways

  • List the required precautions that applicators must take to protect water

  • Name sensitive species like fish, amphibians or birds