Biodegradation

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 3–10

Diffuse atrazine pollution in German aquifers

  • Wolfgang Tappe
  • Joost Groeneweg
  • Barbara Jantsch
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1016325527709

Cite this article as:
Tappe, W., Groeneweg, J. & Jantsch, B. Biodegradation (2002) 13: 3. doi:10.1023/A:1016325527709

Abstract

Until its prohibition in Germany in 1991, atrazine was the mostfrequently applied herbicide in maize cultivation. Moreover, it was used in orchards andvineyards and as a total herbicide on non-cultivated grounds (railways, factory grounds).Later on, atrazine was substituted mainly by terbutylazine. Terbutylazine and terbutrynare the only s-triazines presently permitted in Germany. Nevertheless, atrazine and itsmetabolite desethylatrazine are by far the most abundant herbicides detected in near surfacegroundwater. This might be due to wash-outs from the pools of atrazine and its metabolitesfrom the soil into the groundwater or continuing illegal applications. Samples takenfrom maize fields in 1994 showed that 6.2% of 471 fields tested were treated with atrazinedespite the prohibition of its use. Nevertheless, the overall trend is in fact a slow decreasein atrazine concentrations where it is detected in groundwater and, simultaneously often aslight increase in desethylatrazine concentrations. But this is not the case forall sampling points, and increasing concentrations in several aquifers are observedas well. Factors governing the adsorption, degradation, persistence and the possible transferinto the aquifer and the current situation concerning atrazine occurrence in German aquiferswill be discussed.

atrazine pollution aquifer 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Tappe
    • 1
  • Joost Groeneweg
    • 1
  • Barbara Jantsch
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center JülichInstitute of Chemistryand Dynamics of the Geosphere. Institute IV: AgrosphereJülichGermany

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