When you look at our planet, it’s easy to see that a majority of the surface is water, not land. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is water. However, nearly all the water on the Earth is in the oceans, which humans can’t drink. Only 2.5 percent of the water on Earth is drinkable. And, 99 percent of that is below the surface. This water is groundwater. Groundwater is a precious resource that we have to protect. What happens when groundwater becomes polluted? What are the effects of groundwater pollution? Here is some information for you about groundwater pollution.
How Does Groundwater Become Polluted?
Groundwater can become polluted in many ways. Sometimes, groundwater pollution occurs naturally. You may be asking, “What are the two natural pollutants of groundwater?” Water already contains chemicals, such as iron, manganese, and sulfates. They are actually good for the soil unless there are too many of them. When that happens, even naturally occurring minerals can pollute the groundwater.
Septic systems are another reason for groundwater pollution. An improperly maintained septic system can pollute groundwater. In addition, the water can become polluted if there are many septic systems in an area. Other groundwater pollution sources include chemical spills and human waste products, such as lawn clippings, oils, paints, and fats.
What Are the Effects of Groundwater Pollution?
There are groundwater pollution facts that are difficult to ignore. Whether we like it or not, we are all affected by groundwater pollution. We have limited sources of water. There are two major effects of groundwater pollution. First, groundwater pollution can cause illnesses, such as hepatitis and cholera. Hepatitis is a liver disease. If left untreated, it can cause liver damage. Cholera is an intestinal disease that can lead to organ failure if it’s left untreated. Cholera can also lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration.
Besides illness, there are other effects of groundwater pollution. Both plants and animals suffer when the quality of groundwater decreases. For example, groundwater contamination can lead to entire fields of crops dying before farmers can harvest them. Also, contaminated water can cause birth defects. These defects can lead to serious illnesses in children.
Chemicals that have leached into the groundwater can also cause problems. Benzene, which is a byproduct of factories, is a cancer-causing agent. There has been a link found between it and cancer in areas with groundwater contamination.
The effects of groundwater contamination can be far-reaching and affect many areas of the population you might not think about. For example, the fishing industry, which relies on water, suffers when groundwater is contaminated. Runoff from polluted water sources can kill hundreds or thousands of fish. Other industries that rely on water can suffer as well because the water is no longer usable.
Solutions for Groundwater Pollution
There are ways you can help protect your groundwater from pollution. First, you need to know there are government agencies that work to protect groundwater sources. If you suspect someone in your area is contaminating the groundwater, you can contact the EPA. You can also take steps at home to make sure you aren’t contaminating your groundwater. Make sure you dispose of chemicals and fertilizers correctly, so they don’t pollute the groundwater.
If you are worried about your groundwater, we can help. Contact All American Environmental in N.J. We have the ability to test your groundwater and make sure it isn’t contaminated. We can also make suggestions for you guarantee your groundwater stays clean, so you can protect your family. Give us a call today and let us ensure the safety of your groundwater for your family.