This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Agricultural contaminants

A U.S. Geological Survey conducted in the 1990s detected pesticide compounds in virtually every stream in agricultural, urban and mixed-use areas, as well as in 30-60% of the groundwater. These chemicals may enter the water supply from agricultural and stormwater runoff, and their exposure has been linked to kidney, thyroid, gastrointestinal and reproductive effects. Atrazine, one of the most widely used pesticides, is a suspected endocrine disruptor and is associated with cardiovascular difficulties. Long-term exposure to glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, may lead to kidney problems and reproductive difficulties.

This feature calls for the responsible management of herbicide, pesticide and fertilizer usage to help limit leaching into water sources. This feature also sets maximum safety limits for common pesticides and herbicides detected in indoor drinking water. If detected, these contaminants can be removed with carbon filters.

Part 1: Herbicides and Pesticides

All water being delivered to the project area for human consumption meets the following limits:

a.44 Atrazine less than 0.001 mg/L.
b.53 Simazine less than 0.002 mg/L.
c.54 Glyphosate less than 0.70 mg/L.
d.54 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid less than 0.07 mg/L.
Part 2: Fertilizers

All water being delivered to the project area for human consumption meets the following limits:

a.54 Nitrate less than 10 mg/L nitrogen.
Urinary
Reproductive
Endocrine
Digestive
Nervous
Cardiovascular

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Herbicides and Pesticides P P P
Part 2: Fertilizers P P P
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Herbicides and Pesticides P P P P P
Part 2: Fertilizers P P P P P

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Herbicides and Pesticides Performance Test
Part 2: Fertilizers Performance Test
44

California Water Boards. Maximum Contaminant Levels and Regulatory Dates for Drinking Water US EPA vs California. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/documents/dwdocuments/MCLsEPAvsDWP-2014-07-01.pdf. Sacramento: California Environmental Protection Agency; 2014.

33.1.a

The California Environmental Protection Agency regulates Atrazine in drinking water to a Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.001 mg/L.

53

World Health Organization. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality Fourth Edition. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011: 26, 371, 383, 416, 433.

33.1.b

The WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality set a guideline value for Simazine concentrations at 0.002 mg/L.

54

Office of Water. 2012 Edition of the Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories. Washington D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; 2012: 2, 3, 5-11.

33.1.d

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid concentrations at 0.07 mg/L.

33.1.c

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Glyphosate concentrations at 0.7 mg/L.

33.2.a

The EPA's Drinking Water Standards and Health Advisories set a Maximum Contaminant Level for Nitrate (as N) concentrations at 10 mg/L.