Over 50% of United States residents rely on water from wells or springs as their source of drinking water. While these sources provide much of the Earth’s fresh water, they are susceptible to various sources of contamination and pollution, including these five common factors.
Surface water can infiltrate groundwater through the soil system, or through runoff in areas where the water table is above the surface of the ground. Surface water can come in the form of rain, snow, or even water you dump out onto the earth. Pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers, oils, and salts can all be carried by surface water, and can make their way into groundwater, thus polluting it with harmful contaminants.
Some forms of groundwater pollution can some from drilled or buried sources. Underground storage tanks that have corroded may carry gasoline or other harmful substances that can leak into an aquifer and thus pollute the groundwater.
Landfills, though designed to be safe for disposal, are common sources of sub-surface contamination. Harmful chemicals sealed and buried require constant groundwater management, as well as groundwater monitoring and remediation to ensure that no leaks have occurred. Modern landfills must also meet federal standards through careful site selection and installation of protective liners. However, older dumps did not have these kinds of requirements and could still be unintentionally leaking harmful substances into the groundwater.
It may seem impossible for atmospheric conditions to affect groundwater pollution, but all of the contaminants that are released into the atmosphere eventually return to the earth, carried by rain, snow and other forms of precipitation. These can then be carried by surface water and become a form of surface contamination
Saltwater may not seem like a big problem for groundwater contamination, but in reality, saltwater intrusion is a huge issue. Remediation equipment may take care of some of the problem, but it’s happening fast enough to be a cause for concern in the environment.
If one or more of these things has caused groundwater pollution near you, or you suspect it has, then you should immediately call for groundwater remediation services.