Although it has been illegal to sell the pesticide diazinon for residential use in the U.S. since 2004, traces of pesticides have been detected at several El Paso Water wastewater treatment plants. Tests conducted by EPA show diazinon and other pesticides can have a serious, adverse impact on aquatic organisms, and can harm the quality of receiving waters — in this case, the Rio Grande.

How do pesticides enter the sewer system?

Pesticides enter the sewer system when they are put directly into household and commercial drains, commodes, floor drains and manholes. Rain and over-watering can wash pesticides from lawns into manholes and storm drains. Pesticides can enter the system when water used to clean floors or carpets in areas treated with pesticide is discharged into the sewer, or when rags contaminated with pesticide are washed in washing machines that discharge into the sewer.


How can I use pesticides responsibly?

Read the label carefully before purchasing pesticides. Always identify the pest and purchase the correct pesticide for the job. Follow the directions for mixing, and use exactly as printed on the label. Overdosing can kill your garden or harm your family or pets. Remember: A little may be good, but a lot can be dangerous.

Always follow directions when disposing of pesticides and NEVER put the unused portion of the pesticide down household drains, commodes, commercial drains, storm drains or manholes. Perform clean-up activities on the lawn. Avoid overwatering lawns to prevent pesticide run-off. Dispose of water that may have come into contact with pesticides on the lawn. If you hire licensed professionals to help eliminate pests in and around your home, know which pesticide is used and ask how they will dispose of any unused chemical.

What should I do with leftover pesticide?

If you have old or leftover pesticide, please take it to one of the Citizen Collection Stations located throughout the city.

Where can I find more information?

For more information about safe pesticide use, visit the EPA's website.

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