2011: Johnstone River Qld. Pesticides: Diuron, Atrazine, 2,4-D, Ametryn, Trifluralin, MCPA, 2,4,5-T

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A WATER QUALITY ISSUES ANALYSIS FOR THE JOHNSTONE RIVER BASIN

Report No. 11/05

for Terrain NRM

Stephen Lewis and Jon Brodie

Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, James Cook University

Final report April 2011

Agrochemicals

Herbicides

A recent study from the neighbouring Tully catchment showed that a number of photosystem-II inhibiting herbicides were regularly detected in the freshwater streams and also offshore in river water plumes in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon at concentrations either exceeding ANZECC and ARMCANZ (2000) guidelines or above known negative effect levels for marine plants (Bainbridge et al., 2009a). A clear relationship exists between the area of sugarcane and the mean diuron concentration (Bainbridge et al., 2009a). Monitoring in the Johnstone River catchment in the 1990s detected six herbicides including diuron (<2.3 μg/L), atrazine (≤0.7 μg/L), 2,4-D (0.18 – 15.6 μg/L), ametryn, trifluralin, MCPA and 2,4,5-T (Hunter et al., 2001).