What is Groundwater Pollution

What Is the Definition of Groundwater Pollution?


Have you ever wondered where the majority of our drinking water comes from? If so, the answer is quite simple: approximately 50% of our population receives its drinking water directly from groundwater. This is especially true for residents who live in rural areas. Although it is one of our main sources of water, many of us are not exactly sure what the definition of groundwater is.


What is groundwater?

The groundwater definition is the water that fills the spaces among soil bits and ruptured rocks underneath the earth’s surface. Groundwater can move through aquifers smoothly. An aquifer is a body of saturated rock through which water can easily move.


However, for groundwater to move easily through aquifers, they must be penetrable and porous. Some rocks that are penetrable enough for water to flow through them are sandstone, conglomerate, cracked limestone, and gravel. Water can move through aquifers at different speeds. The speeds that water moves through these will depend on the amount of space in between the soil and the aquifer. The larger space, the faster the water can travel through. If the space between the soil and the aquifer is quite small, this can cause the water to have difficulty reaching its final destination.


Groundwater can be discovered almost everywhere. The water table plays a big role in the migration of groundwater because it can become too deep or shallow which can cause the groundwater to rise or fall throughout the migration process.


During the migration process, groundwater is reloaded by rain or snow that melts and percolates deep into the fractures in the ground. The more rain and snow a specific area in the world receives, the easier it is for the groundwater to refill and the entire process to begin again.


Therefore, the reason why some areas in the world have a water shortage is that the ground water is used faster than it is naturally refilled. Another factor is groundwater pollution. This occurs when pollutants reach down into the groundwater supply and contaminate the water.


How is groundwater formed?

You may be wondering exactly how is groundwater formed and how we make use of groundwater for drinking or daily activities if the process begins underground. The answer is quite simple: the water in aquifers actually comes to the surface through natural springs, lakes, and streams. However, it can be naturally extracted from the ground by drilling a well directly into an aquifer.


If the well is positioned anywhere that is not directly over an aquifer, the well can go dry and will not receive the proper amount of water desired. Some wells known as artesian wells do not need a pump in order to bring water to the surface. Instead, the natural pressure caused by the well will naturally bring the water to ground levels.


When compared to surface water, groundwater is also found in lakes, rivers, and streams. However, the main difference between the two is surface water remains on the surface cavity. Meanwhile, groundwater needs to be sought after. Nevertheless, both water sources can be polluted by multiple different factors.


Still, have questions about groundwater and groundwater pollution?

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