Pesticide Storage and Handling
Home*A*Syst Home Worksheet Intro Information Sheet (PDF) Glossary Go To The Worksheet
Pesticide Storage and Handling Fact/Worksheet
Pesticides play an important role in agriculture. They protect crop yields and enable farmers to manage more acres with less labor. However, if pesticides are not handled carefully around the rural homestead they can seep through the ground after a leak or spill, or they can enter a well directly during mixing and loading activities. The responsible use of pesticides will help assure the availability of safe ground water for everyone.
Pesticides work by interfering with the life processes of plants, disease organisms, insects, and rodents. Many pesticides are also potentially toxic to people. Pesticides include herbicides, fungicides, insectcides, and rodenticides. If pesticides enter a water supply in large quantities, as can happen with spills or backsiphonage accidents, acute health effects (toxic effects apparent after only a single exposure) are possible. Effects will vary, depending on the toxicity of the pesticide and the amount of exposure. Drinking water with low levels of contaminants over a long period may result in chronic exposure (prolonged or repeated exposure to low doses of toxic substances), which may be hazardous to people and animals.
When pesticides are found in water supplies, they are rarely present in concentrations that cause acute health effects, which can include chemical burns, nausea, and convulsions. Instead, they typically occur at trace levels, and the concern is primarily their potential to cause chronic health problems from prolonged exposure.
Following appropriate management procedures will greatly reduce the possibility of your drinking water being contaminated. Handle and dispose of pesticides properly to avoid risking contamination that could affect the water supplies and health of others.
The goal of Home*A*Syst is to help you protect the environment and your drinking water.
- It will take you step-by-step through your pesticide storage, handling, and disposal practices.
- It will rank your activities according to how they might affect the ground water that provides your drinking water supply.
- It will provide you with easy-to-understand rankings that will help you analyze the risk level of your pesticide storage, handling, and disposal practices.
- It will help you determine which of your practices are reasonably safe and effective, and which practice might require modification to better protect your drinking water.
After reviewing the information provided, select Go To The Worksheet in links at the left. It should take you about 15 to 30 minutes to complete the worksheet and summarize your risk rankings.
Information derived from Home*A*Syst worksheets is intended only to provide general information and recommendations to rural residents regarding their own homestead practices. It is not the intent of this educational program to keep records of individual results.