Residues of the herbicide glyphosate in riparian groundwater in urban catchments
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The herbicide glyphosate and its putative metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) have been found in urban streams, but limited information is available on their presence in urban riparian groundwater. Information is also lacking regarding the source of AMPA in these urban settings (glyphosate metabolite or wastewater), and whether, if present, glyphosate residues in urban riparian groundwater contribute significantly to urban streams. Glyphosate and AMPA were detected in shallow riparian groundwater at 4 of 5 stream sites in urban catchments in Canada and each were found in approximately 1 in 10 of the samples overall. Frequency of observations of glyphosate and AMPA varied substantially between sites, from no observations in a National Park near the Town of Jasper Alberta, to observations of both glyphosate and AMPA in more than half of the samples along two short reaches of streams in Burlington, Ontario. In these two catchments, AMPA was correlated with glyphosate, rather than the artificial sweetener acesulfame, suggesting that the AMPA is derived mainly from glyphosate degradation rather than from wastewater sources. Land use, localized dosage history, depth below ground and other factors likely control the occurrence of detectable glyphosate residues in groundwater.
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