Surface Water Database (SURF) Description

Back to Surface Water Database (SURF)

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 May 2024, SURF contained results from 1,075 studies conducted by federal, state, and local agencies, private industry, and environmental groups. Samples were collected in 58 counties from over 7,353 sample sites between June 1925 and October 2023.

The database contains over 1.5 million and 386,000 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.

The infographics below summarize the data in SURF and the portion of the SURF data that are only generated by DPR monitoring projects.