When it comes to groundwater, everyone has to work to keep it clean

Did you know that the water that you drink and bathe in comes from underground? Underneath the ground you are on right now there is an aquifer, which society taps, cleans, and pumps to our homes. Generally things go smoothly, but there are problems that can pop up.

If you take a liquid, any liquid, and pour it onto a pile of dirt, where does it go? It sinks into the ground. Where does it stop? That's when problems come in. Liquids keep sinking through the ground until they reach, and mix into, the aquifer. This is where problems come in. If enough liquid mixes into the aquifer, then the groundwater can become contaminated. Once groundwater is contaminated, it can be very difficult to purify it.

Dangers of Contaminated Groundwater

One of the biggest problems with dealing with a contaminant once it is in the ground is reaching it and isolating it. Aquifers are at various depths, depending on the location, and this too adds to the complexities of the issue. If the aquifer lies deep underground, isolating the contaminant can be very difficult.

So what are some methods of containing contaminated groundwater? One method is through permeable reactive barriers. These barriers are inserted into the ground and through the aquifer. When the contaminated water passes through the barrier, the contaminants are filtered out. A limitation of this technique is that these barriers only work with a shallow aquifer.

Another technique for groundwater remediation is through the use of plants. Certain trees and other plants naturally accumulate and filter out large amounts of heavy metals and metal-like elements. Benefits of this system include a lower cost than other methods, and it is less disruptive to the environment. Drawbacks of this method include a longer time commitment, and also the area that can be treated is limited by the area the roots can cover.

Everyone Has to Pitch in to Keep Groundwater Clean

So the next time you have to dispose of a chemical, keep in the mind the effects contaminated groundwater can have. Make sure all toxic or dangerous liquids are disposed of correctly in order to protect the aquifer from contaminants, and to protect everyone who uses the water.

Author's Bio: 

Our author has done a lot of research on groundwater remediation. You will find very useful information on chemicals contaminated groundwater which affects your health and the different ways to prevent them here.