New study shows impacts of illegal marijuana grows on water quality

VALLEJO, CA.– A study out of Northern California is showing the affects of illegal marijuana grows on water quality.

Dr. Mourad Gabriel worked on this study with the US Forest Service for six years.

He said he’s surprised with the results.

Dr. Gabriel said, “it is a very rigorous long-term study where we monitored these sites for multiple years as well as…. multiple years in regards to investigating whether or not these pesticides were present on surface waters.”

Dr. Gabriel said investigators were surprised at how far the pesticides could travel through soil before they reached water.

He said they found traces of pesticides stayed in the water near illegal grows for well over a year.

“Over 450 days after the last application we were still able to detect some of these pesticides,” he said.

The study tested pesticides like diazinon and carbofuran to see how far downstream the pesticides would carry and how long they stayed in the water.

Both pesticides are highly toxic to birds and are classified as toxic to fish according to the national pesticide information center and the environmental protection agency.

Dr. Gabriel said, “it does warrant additional investigations so finding them present in surface waters then immediately warrants additional and subsequent investigations that we are actively pursuing.”

Dr. Gabriel said anyone who encounters a trespass cultivation site should immediately contact the forest service and law enforcement.

He said that applies to the cultivation of any plant, not just marijuana.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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