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Nitrate Contamination of Ground Water Essay

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Nitrate Contamination of Ground Water

The Earth's surface is covered by massive amounts of water, but only a small measure of it is safe for consumption. With a very limited supply, we need to focus our energies on preserving its quality and quantity. Nitrates pose a great threat to our precious groundwater. There are many ways that groundwater can be contaminated, but most aren't nearly as detrimental as an increase in the amount of nitrates within our groundwater.

How do nitrates get into the water? We can help you with this answer. Nitrates get into the groundwater from a variety of sources: some involve pastoral farming, market gardening, application of nitrogenous fertilizers, and industrial and sewage waste disposal.
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We know that the results of these practices as well as many others accumulate underground rather quickly and damage the quality of the water supply.

Contamination of groundwater is also affected by weather, soil types, and the depth of the aquifer. If it is less than 100 feet to the water table, the vulnerability of contamination is increased. In the Midwest, with a sandy to loamy soil, the groundwater will become more susceptible toward nitrate contamination. In areas where the soil composition is more of a clay compound, no matter if there is an over-use of fertilizer, the vulnerability of the groundwater is greatly reduced. This is the type of situation that occurs in places like southern Indiana where the soils drain very poorly. Through the many factors that are involved, we, as a society, have gained a great amount of knowledge on how to reduce the amount of nitrates in the water source.

A couple of the most widely recognized concerns of high nitrates in water is its cause of methemoglobinemia, more commonly referred to as "blue baby" syndrome, and other blood disorders. If we don't start fixing the problem now, the critical effects of dangerous nitrate levels in the water supply will be around for decades, and become increasingly difficult to manage.

There are a variety of approaches to avoiding the utilization of inadequate techniques. Individuals can test soils before applying fertilizers, improve storage of fertilizers, test well
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