Ground Water and Pollution

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Groundwater Pollution and the Cleaning of Aquifers Every day, almost everyone uses groundwater in some way. Taking a shower, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, and drinking water are all things that most people do. However, ground water is easy to pollute, but hard to clean up. When water gets polluted it gets in to the aquifer, or the underground layer of permeable rock or sediment that holds water and allows it to flow, and contaminates that too. It is important to keep groundwater clean, because polluted groundwater poses a risk to human health, and it is not easy to clean up. Groundwater can become polluted by many sources. Household waste, chemical spill, agricultural waste such as manure and fertilizers, landfills, and improper disposal of chemicals are five major sources of pollution. If any of these sources end up in your drinking water, you can develop major illnesses such as giardiasis, cholera, and hepatitis. Health effects of many pollutants on humans are not yet known. Although human-caused sources are mostly what pollutes groundwater, naturally occurring contaminants are also pollutants. These can come about if metals such as iron and manganese dissolve into water while it is flowing through rocks and sediments. Groundwater can also be naturally contaminated by hydrogen, sulfide, and decaying bodies. These may not sound as harmful, but they can be just as bad as anything caused by humans. Cleaning up aquifers is not always easy. It mainly depends on what contaminated it in the first place. The worse the contamination, the harder it is to clean up. There are a few ways that can help, such as the pump and treat method. This is when you remove the groundwater and treat it on the surface. There is also the In-situ treatment, which is a little more complicated. This involves leaving the groundwater in place and using oxidation, which is just

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