The contamination levels and changes in the concentrations in four lagoons around Lake Biwa of paddy-use herbicide were studied. Four lagoons, Sone-numa (52 days of HRT (hydraulic residence time) estimated from the lagoon volume and the average discharge at the outlet, 21 ha area), Yanagihira-ko (40 days, 5.0 ha), Noda-numa (11 days, 6.0 ha), and Iba-naiko (2 days, 55.5 ha), were selected as monitoring sites. Intensive water sampling was carried out once a week from May to June at the outlet of each lagoon. Although twelve of the monitored herbicides were detected, the maximum concentrations did not exceed the guidelines for water-supply law in Japan. The relation between half-lives in herbicide concentrations and characteristics of a lagoon such as HRT and chlorophyll-a concentrations were examined. The shorter half-lives of herbicide concentrations in lagoons with shorter HRT means that replacement by influent water effectively decreased the pesticide concentrations. Shorter half-lives in lagoons with high chlorophyll-a concentrations between the lagoons with similar HRT suggest that biological degradation during the residence time worked more efficiently in the lagoon with high chlorophyll-a concentrations.

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