Groundwater is a crucial resource for humans and animals, particularly in remote areas where wells might be the only water source. Therefore, understanding ways that groundwater can become contaminated is vital, so as to protect it from the danger.
Unfortunately, a great deal of the world’s groundwater is contaminated by substances like heavy metals, salts, nitrates and organic substances such as fertilisers and pesticides. Inorganic contaminants in groundwater are mostly of anthropogenic origin, as they result from agricultural activities, urbanisation and industrial development. For more information on Remediation Contractors to clean up contamination, go to Soil Fix, a leading firm of Remediation Contractors.
Biological contamination by microorganisms can occur in groundwater sources as well. These are usually the result of a failure to properly maintain and disinfect wells, or of runoff from contaminated land. The pathogens that are released are then able to infiltrate groundwater and cause illness in people who drink the water.
There are several routes for contaminants to enter groundwater. Corroded underground storage tanks for gasoline and oil can leak their contents into an aquifer, as can faulty septic systems or sewer lines that allow sewage to seep in.
Chemical spills of petroleum products, industrial waste and mining tailings can also contaminate groundwater. These are considered “point sources.” Other forms of groundwater contamination come from a distributed, or nonpoint source, such as leaching from farm fields treated with chemicals or infiltration from the surface of an aquifer. This type of groundwater contamination is called “diffuse.”