Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Public Health in Environmental Health


This study examines the variation in the distribution of the concentration of atrazine, a triazine herbicide used in Kentucky to control weeds primarily in corn fields. Atrazine is known to have carcinogenic properties and is an endocrine disruptor in aquatic species even at low concentrations. Atrazine has the ability to be transported through the environment into water bodies due to its physical and chemical properties favoring its occurrence and distribution. Raw and Finished drinking water samples were collected from the Lewisburg water treatment plant which derives its drinking water supplies from a source water intake namely Spa Lake, which has a direct run-off from the fields with abundant atrazine application. Atrazine was analyzed in the collected water samples and was found in both the raw and finished drinking water in concentrations exceeding the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 3 ppb as established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US E.P.A).The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) methodology requires quarterly sampling strategy to be implemented by all small community water systems to monitor and control the concentrations of atrazine in finished drinking water. The presence of missing high concentrations of atrazine in finished water which are not measured in the regular quarterly sampling protocol is of concern for exposures and protection of public health and environment.


Environmental Health and Protection | Public Health