Managed turf sites (golf courses) are the most intensively managed landscapes in the urban environment. Yet, long-term watershed scale studies documenting the environmental transport of agrichemicals applied to these systems are rare. The objective of this study was to quantify the surface discharge losses of two commonly applied pesticides (chlorothalonil and 2,4-D) resulting from prevailing practices on a managed golf course. Inflow and outflow discharge waters on a subarea of Northland Country Club located in Duluth, MN were measured for both quantity and quality from April through November from 2003 to 2008. The median chlorothalonil outflow concentration (0.58 µg L−1) was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than the inflow concentration, which was below the detection limit (0.07 µg L−1). Similarly, the median outflow 2,4-D concentration (0.85 µg L−1) was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than the inflow concentration (0.31 µg L−1). Chlorothalonil concentrations occasionally exceeded acute toxicity levels (7.6 µg L−1) reported for rainbow trout. No 2,4-D concentrations exceeded any human or aquatic species published toxicity level; however, the maximum measured 2,4-D concentration (67.1 µg L−1), which rarely occurred, did approach the 70 µg L−1 maximum contaminant level (MCL) for that compound. Losses of both pesticides were detectable throughout the annual sampling period. Mean annual chlorothalonil loading was 10.5 g ha−1 or 0.3% of applied, while mean annual 2,4-D loading was 4.9 g ha−1 or 0.5% of applied. The findings of this study provide quantifiable evidence of agrichemical transport resulting from typical turfgrass management and highlight the need for implementation of best management practices to combat the offsite transport of agrichemicals used in professional turf management.
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