Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey want to get a better look at the effects of agricultural runoff. To do so, they will embark on a summer study of 100 Midwest streams, according to National Public Radio.
The study sites include streams from Ohio to Nebraska and will test for hundreds of pesticides and nutrients used in agriculture. The measurements taken in the streams currently aren’t done routinely, and will look at more chemicals than typical studies
The snapshot into stream health is important because agricultural runoff is the leading cause of impaired water quality in the United States. Some of the obscure tests being conducted can measure mercury concentrations, livestock hormones and pesticide levels.