The Pesticide Detectives is an extensive national Citizen Science project investigating the occurrence and concentrations of pesticides used in homes and gardens as well as agricultural and urban settings in Australia’s waterways.

Funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Pesticide Detectives is a collaborative project combining the scientific expertise of RMIT University’s Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST) scientists and Citizen Science volunteers in the collection of sediment samples from waterways across Australia.

Australia’s waterways have intrinsic ecological, economic and social value. Information on the quality of Australia’s water resources is of critical interest to local, state and federal agencies as water quality is integrally linked to the long-term availability of clean water. Of primary concern is the ever-increasing use of chemicals in our everyday life, and the risks they pose to the health and beneficial uses of waterways.

Pesticides are one group of contaminants increasingly being detected in waterways across Australia and worldwide. There are thousands of different pesticides in use today in and around houses, shops, offices, storerooms, sheds gardens, farms, pastoral stations and many other places. Pesticides are designed to be toxic to the pests they target – whether they be insect, weed or other unwanted home, garden or agricultural invader.

When used properly, pesticides can protect your plants, home, or animals. However, when the label instructions are not followed correctly, plant injury may occur and pests may not be controlled. Furthermore, human health may be impaired, and pesticides may contribute to the pollution of aquatic environments.


Are you a waterway or environmental group wanting to get involved? Need additional information or have a question or comment? 


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RMIT University acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the land
and waters across Australia, on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University.
RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present.