Best Management Practices for Georgia Urban Gardeners to Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution
Varlamoff, Susan M.
Westerfield, Robert R.
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Water quality samples collected by the U.S. Geological Survey from March 1993 through April 1994 from one urban and two agricultural watersheds in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and Ocumulgee River basins were analyzed for 84 commonly-used pesticides (Frick et al., 1998). More pesticides were detected and at generally higher concentrations in water from urban watersheds than from agricultural watersheds. In 1989, the National Academy of Sciences stated homeowners tend to use as much as ten times more chemicals per acre on their lawns than farmers use on agricultural lands (Jenkins, 1994). Nonpoint source pollution from pesticide and nutrient loading in urban areas increases with increasing development and the affluence of many new population centers. Metro Atlanta has grown by 26% since 1990 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). A five-year, three-phase project is underway to develop and disseminate Best Management Practices for Georgia home gardeners to encourage changes in behavior that will reduce nonpoint source pollution of urban surface waters due to pesticides and fertilizers.