Ground Water: Contamination, Pollution, Depletion & Hydrology
Water located beneath the earth's surface in soil pore spaces and in the fracture of rock formation is called groundwater. Ground water is also often withdrawn for agricultural, household, and industrial use by constructing and operating extraction wells. The study of the movement and distribution of groundwater is hydrology, also called ground water hydrology. In United States, over 50% of the population depends on groundwater for drinking water and is also one of the most important water resources for irrigation.
Unfortunately, ground water is highly susceptible to pollutants. This makes the water highly unsafe for humans as well as wildlife. Groundwater contamination occurs when man made products such as oil, gasoline, road salts, toxic substances and chemicals get into the ground water and cause it to become unsafe and unfit for human use. Due to this, efficient groundwater management has become the need of the hour in order to manage and protect the underground water resources.
If you are looking for the right ground management solutions then IDS Water is the right place to find it. Our aim is to match our clients to suppliers and vendors who are reputed in manufacturing and distribution of all kinds of ground water management technology related testing and components. Further, we are also associated with professional consultants for all your groundwater management needs.
Not just that, we are known for having an extensive network of trained, expert, independent and authorized suppliers and vendors’ network in the country and worldwide. However, before you go through our supplier directory we are sure that you would want to know more on various threats to ground water and about ground water management. Continue reading, as this article will talk about groundwater contamination, pollution, depletion and remediation.
Groundwater Contamination & Pollution
Ground water main consists of water from surface water bodies, like lakes, river or streams that soaks into the soil and bedrock. This water is then stored underground in the tiny spaces between rocks and particles of soil. However, in recent time ground water is facing the serious issue of contamination and pollution due to various human activities. Groundwater contamination and pollution mainly occurs when hazardous and toxic substances come in contact and dissolve in the water that has been soaked into the soil.
Materials and harmful debris from the land surface can make its way through the soil and end up in ground water. For example, fertilizers and pesticides over time can seep through the soil and get into groundwater supplies. Toxic waste and substances from mining sites used motor oil and road salt may also find its ways into ground water. In addition to the above, ground water can also get contaminated and polluted from untreated waste from septic tanks. Even toxic chemicals from underground storage tanks and leaky landfills can also pollute groundwater.
How Do Contaminants and Pollutants Get There?
Groundwater contamination and pollution can happen in numerous ways. Rain or surface water comes in contact with contaminated soil while seeping into the ground. It can become polluted and can carry pollutants from the soil to the ground water. Groundwater contamination can occur when hazardous substances seep through the soil and rock into the underground water resources. Some harmful liquid substances do not dilute with the ground water but still remain gathered within the soil or bedrock. These substances act as long-term groundwater resources of pollution as the water flows through the soil or rock and comes into contact with them.
Dangers Of Groundwater Contamination & Pollution
Groundwater contamination and pollution is a serious problem and adequate groundwater management is needed to reverse this phenomenon. Groundwater management is important because consumption or use of polluted ground water can severely harm humans, animals and plants. In many parts of the world groundwater is extracted by pumping it out of the ground. These water resources are then used for drinking, bathing, and household uses, agriculture and industry.
Thus groundwater contamination and pollution can severely affect the water quality and make it unfit for drinking and otherwise. Polluted ground water can adversely affect the health of animals and human when they drink or bathe in contaminated water. Their health issues can also get affected if they eat organisms or plants that have them been affected by groundwater contamination. Drinking contaminated ground water can have serious health issues. Pollution from septic tank waste can cause diseases such as hepatitis and dysentery. Toxins that have seeped into well water supplies can cause poisoning. Plants and wildlife can also be harmed by groundwater pollution. Other long-term effects such as certain types of cancer may also result from exposure to polluted groundwater.
Ground Water Depletion and Overuse
No one can deny the importance of ground water. It is one of the largest water resources of usable, fresh water in the world. In most parts of the world where surface water supplies are scare or not available, groundwater is primarily used to meet domestic, agricultural and industrial water needs. Due to this ground water depletion and overuse is a huge threat. Pumping water out of the ground at a faster rate than it is replenished over the long-term causes this problem.
Sustained ground water pumping primarily causes groundwater depletion. Some of the consequence of groundwater depletion includes:
- Lowering of Water Table: Pumping ground water excessively can lower the groundwater table. This in turn causes wells to no longer be able to reach water underground.
- Increased Costs: Due to a dip in the water table level, water must be pumped farther to reach the surface, which would require more energy thus increasing cost.
- Reduced Surface Water Supplies: Surface water and ground water are interconnected. Water level at lakes, streams and rivers connected to groundwater can dip if ground water is overused.
- Land Subsidence: Loss of support below ground when the soil collapses, compacts and drops is called land subsidence. This is mainly caused by human activities, especially from groundwater depletion.
- Water Quality Concerns: Pumping water excessively in coastal areas can cause saltwater to move inland and upwards. This results in saltwater contamination of groundwater supply.
Thus based on the above one can conclude that proper ground water management is not only aimed at ensuring contamination and pollution free water underground. Groundwater management also compasses taking measures to avoid ground water depletion.
Groundwater management also places high emphasis on ground water remediation. The process of removing pollutants from ground water is called groundwater remediation. This process is crucial as many people in the world depend upon ground water resources of drinking water. It is also used by farmers to irrigate crops and by industries to manufacture everyday products. Although most groundwater is clean, it can still get polluted and contaminated as a result of human activities or as a result of natural conditions.
Practices like over application of fertilizers or pesticides, industrial operational spills and leaking from landfills impacts ground water. Using groundwater that is polluted causes a whole host of public health issues such as poisoning and the spread of diseases. Thus to address these serious issues the practice of groundwater remediation has been developed. Further, to counteract groundwater contamination, many stringent water standards and regulation have been introduced. This ensures distribution of safe ground water and to a large extent curtails ground water pollution.
Contaminants found in ground water cover a broad range of parameters such as physical, inorganic chemical, bacteriological, organic chemical, and radioactive. Due to this groundwater management also includes removal of pollutants and contaminants from ground water by applying various techniques thereby making it safe for use and consumption.
Based on the above we can conclude that ground water can be protected from pollution, contamination and depletion by proper groundwater management. Thus if you are looking for the right ground water management solutions then we at IDS Water have it all and much more. So what are you waiting for just browse through our directory as it will provide you with the details of numerous prospective vendors, consultants and suppliers and vendors to meet all your groundwater management needs.
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