How to Manage Pests

UC IPM WaterTox: Water-Related Risks of Active Ingredients

UC IPM WaterTox lets you evaluate the risk that pesticides will move with water and eroded soil or organic matter and affect nontarget organisms. It helps pesticide users consider the long-term hazard to humans and fish from leaching and runoff when they make pest management decisions that involve pesticides.

Information in WaterTox was derived from the USDA-NRCS Windows Pesticide Screening Tool (WIN-PST).

Use the WaterTox water quality database to

  • Find the properties of a single pesticide
  • Compare risks for the pesticides suggested for a specific pest in your crop.
  • Water Quality or Compare Treatments button

    The Compare Treatments button as it appears in pest management guidelines.

    1. In the pest management guideline for the crop and pest, click on the Compare Treatments button at the top of the treatment table in the Management section.
    2. Using the chart, you can compare water quality impacts of the treatment choices and determine which materials may require mitigation measures to protect the environment.
    3. Adjust these tables ("Change conditions") to account for your own application conditions.

After you view the hazard levels, you will be able to make a more informed decision when selecting a particular pesticide. When risks of hazard are high, you may need to choose an alternative chemical, a nonchemical management method, or use mitigation measures. Mitigation measures may include changes in irrigation practices, installation of buffer strips, or changes in application practices.

Pest management decisions should not be made based on water quality issues alone. Also evaluate pesticide efficacy; pest resistance; impact on workers; impact on natural enemies, bees and other nonaquatic, nontarget organisms; air quality concerns; residues on harvested crop; and carry-over residues that might impact future crops.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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