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Water Solubility


Have you ever tried to dissolve sugar in water? It can take a few minutes. Stirring and a little bit of heat can help it dissolve better. Sugar is pretty soluble in water, but there’s a limit. If you add too much sugar to the water, you’ll see grains at the bottom no matter how long you stir the mixture.

Like sugar and salt, some pesticides are very soluble in water.

Much like oil, some pesticides are not very soluble in water.

Water solubility is measured in mg/L, the weight of pesticide (in milligrams) that will dissolve in one liter of water (L).

Low water solubility: less than 10 mg/L or 10 ppm1
Moderate water solubility: 10-1,000 mg/L or 10-1,000 ppm1
High water solubility: more than 1,000 mg/L or 1,000 ppm1

1. Ronald Ney, "Fate and Transport of Organic Chemicals in the Environment" 1995; p. 10

If you have questions about pesticides and drinking water, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources:

Last updated January 19, 2021

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Natural and Biological Pesticides



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