Groundwater pollution


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Groundwater pollution

The article, “Groundwater pollution” (, talks about the definition of groundwater pollution and the main origins of groundwater pollution. The author also provides some suggestions about solving groundwater pollution.

Groundwater was gathered at the Earth's surface. The rain, snow, hail, sleet and others are all origins of the Groundwater. Because of the gravity, the water flows down to the Earth's surface until the zone is full of water. The zone is called saturated zone, which is just between rock and soil at this depth. And the topmost part of this saturated zone is called water table. The season determines the levels that the water table changes. In the summer time, it reaches its lowest level, but in the winter time, it is in its highest.

Groundwater serves as the connection to the surface water. Actually, exchanges do happen frequently between surface water and groundwater. A large number of people do not realize the fact that groundwater is one origin of the natural water, which they have used daily for drinking, cooking and other routine purposes. According to the survey, more than 50% of population in the United States drinks groundwater. Moreover, in some places, people also make use of the groundwater for irrigation and other industrial purposes. Therefore, due to the importance of the groundwater in our everyday life, people need to pay special attention to it, and to avoid any pollution towards it, besides the groundwater, surface water also requires people's attention, since it is easier to be polluted.

Groundwater pollution appears where there is a change of groundwater. The change means the contamination by microbes, chemicals, poisonous and harmful substances and particles, which is also the primary groundwater pollution. In addition, similar to the surface water pollution, groundwater also can be polluted by different natural or man-made materials.

Although groundwater pollution sometimes happens because of the natural or man-made material, the sources that result in the groundwater pollution are hardly natural or man-made. Actually, natural sources are not as harmful as ones generated by human activities. Those human activities result in some poisonous and deathful materials, and when they touch the surface of the ground, they can permeate into the underground level, and pollute the water there. The degree that those chemicals pollute the water depends on their types, the soil conditions that they have polluted.

Then, what are the sources responsible for the groundwater pollution? The first and major one is industries. Manufacturing and other chemical industries need to process and clean water. However, when they have finished processing and cleaning water, they fail to proper treat the used water which is aimed to get recycled, therefore, the untreated used water flows back into the ground and pollutes the groundwater. What's more, solid industrial wastes are also responsible for the groundwater pollution, which can dilute toxic materials to groundwater pollution after rains and rainwater seeps underground.

Secondly, agricultural activities are another reason for groundwater pollution, in which the fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical substances can easily pollute groundwater. People are sometime responsible for the groundwater pollution, because they bring many harmful and toxic substances to the groundwater, and then pollute it. These substances are defined as the groundwater pollutants. Based on their characteristics, they can be divided into point origin and non-point one. The point pollutants are the ones from sewage pipes or tanks; and the non-point ones are pesticides and fertilizers which will easily spread over many different areas.

As a matter of fact, groundwater pollution cannot be avoided completely due to its diverse sources. Any attempt for getting get rid of it totally is unpractical, but there is no denying that human beings can try their best to lower the possibilities of groundwater pollution, such as disposing waster properly; using waterproof storages for household chemical discards and agricultural wastes; and also setting up a better back-up system to reduce groundwater pollution along with regular ones.

All in all, the treatment of groundwater pollution is difficult and expensive; therefore, the best way to solve this problem is to reduce the possibilities of groundwater pollution to happen. It is extremely important to make the public aware the importance of groundwater pollution and the necessity of reduce the possibilities of groundwater pollution.

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