Pesticides enter Lake Champlain through urban and farm runoff. Pesticides are used to kill weeds, insects, fungi, and other pests and can cause deformities or death in fish and wildlife. Pesticides also pose a threat to human health when found in swimming and drinking water. 

Sources include:

  • farm runoff (primarily atrazine)

  • urban runoff (stormwater) from lawns

  • golf courses

  • public parks

Pesticides are bad


Our waters can become unsafe when pesticides enter them. Water pollution runoff containing pesticides from home, commercial, and farm use can irritate peoples' skin and cause illness when swallowed. Fish, salamanders, turtles, birds, and other wildlife can be harmed or die from contact with pesticides. For example, some pesticides mimic hormones and can alter reproductive organs in fish and amphibians.  Pesticides have been linked to human birth defects and in rare cases, death. One report found pesticides in peoples' private wells (read it here).