We are made to understand that water is one of the most vital elements on earth for survival. To further emphasize its importance, we understand that 70% of the earth is made up of water.
Water is used in almost all aspects of life; in homes, industries, wildlife, and nature. However, water is only valid when it remains pure, denoted empirically as H2O. Any other element to this formula makes the water toxic and unhealthy.
The primary source of pure water is from beneath the earth (groundwater), and specific activities can contaminate groundwater. This article will highlight those activities, the dangers of contaminated groundwater, and how to resolve the issue of water contamination.
How Groundwater Gets Contaminated?
As stated earlier, the evolution of man has brought forth several activities that, if not controlled, can cause damage to the ecosystem, and groundwater is no exemption. The primary means through which contaminants get access to groundwater is through cracks, leaching, or water bodies. These are some causes of groundwater contamination:
- Oil spillage: Most oil wells and storage facilities are located near water bodies. During drilling for oil, it tends to spill into water bodies contaminating the groundwater. Another cause is when the storage tanks have leaks because oil storage tanks are buried in the soil, and when there is an oil leak, the oil sips through the soil contaminating the groundwater. The PSA Group are specialists in the containment of hazardous spills.
- Septic systems: Groundwater is contaminated when sewage from homes, industries, and public resorts is carelessly disposed of, where sewage is disposed of on empty lands or in water bodies.
- Hazardous wastes: This is similar to septic systems where toxins from industries are carelessly disposed of. These toxins sip through the soil contaminating groundwater.
- Landfills: These are places where refuse is buried. However, some landfills are poorly constructed without measures to prevent the toxic wastes from leaching into the soil and contaminating groundwater.
- Atmospheric contamination: The earth operates as a system (ecosystem); in this system, water is exchanged between the soil and the atmosphere through evaporation and condensation. When the atmosphere is polluted, the water present in it becomes polluted, and when it condenses and returns to the earth, it contaminates groundwater. Activities that pollute the atmosphere include careless disposal of refuse, carbon from companies and vehicles, and more.
Dangers of Contaminated Groundwater
Based on how essential water is when contaminated, there are specific dangers. These dangers are:
- Increase in diseases: Most dreaded diseases are spread through water. Some of these diseases include diarrhea, cholera, and more.
- Increase in death rates: The rate of death increases from the consumption and use of contaminated water.
- Wildlife: This affects wildlife resulting in the deaths of animals, birds, and fishes.
Ways of Resolving the Issue of Contaminated Groundwater
There are specific measures that can be taken to stop groundwater contamination. These steps are:
- Proper septic systems where sewage is collected and treated.
- Maintenance checks on oil storage systems
- The use of waste removal companies to dispose of waste.
- Promoting the planting of trees because trees help reduce the amount of carbon present.
Groundwater contamination is an area of serious concern because it affects the ecosystem and everything within. Hence, this article has highlighted some causes of groundwater contamination and how to control them.
The PSA Group provide a range of environmental management services that include groundwater testing and contaminated water transport and disposal.