Surface Water Database (SURF) Description

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The Department of Pesticide Regulation's (DPR) Surface Water Database was developed under a 1997 agreement with the State Water Resource Control Board. The purpose of the database is to collect and make available information concerning the presence of pesticides in California surface waters.

The data are monitoring results for pesticides in samples taken from California rivers, creeks, agricultural drains, urban streams and estuaries.

As of February 2022, SURF contained results from 881 studies conducted by federal, state, and local agencies, private industry, and environmental groups. Samples were collected in 58 counties from over 6,900 sample sites between June 1925 and April 2021.

The database contains over 943,000 and 170,000 chemical analysis records from water and sediment samples, respectively. Each chemical analysis record is the result of one analysis for a pesticide active ingredient or breakdown product.

Surface water monitoring data are used to help identify potential contamination problems before direct evidence of impairment of water quality is available. As part of the Surface Water Protection Program, DPR uses monitoring data from the database to identify and trace pesticides in surface water and develop contamination prevention strategies.