Heavy metals, such as copper, lead, mercury, and selenium are another group of toxins that pollute the water as well as the rest of the environment. The source of many of these pollutants are industries, automobile exhaust, mines, and even natural soil.
Groundwater pollution is a major problem that is growing in all over the world. Of course the united states America also facing this problem. People of Mississippi State are worried about groundwater pollution due to the several human activities. Groundwater is a main source of their water supply. Disposal of solid waste in landfills is an economic option for many municipalities in developing countries where alternatives like incineration and composting are costly. However, groundwater pollution from the leachate generated within the landfill and migrating through the bottom liner material into the underlying groundwater aquifers remains a major public health concern I studied chemical parameters of groundwater in Alcorn State University as a part of my project.
There is greater awareness of the issues and hazards of the dumping of chemical waste and there are laws restricting the dumping of this waste. Since many individuals rely on groundwater for drinking water, many of them are drinking contaminated water. Due to this, there are many health risks including, hepatitis, poisoning and cancer when exposed to polluted water. As well, the wildlife can be harmed from the contaminated ground water.
In different areas of the world it is found that the presence of arsenic, lead, and cadmium is hazardous to the health of the general population. In Burkina Faso high concentrations of arsenic dominated the groundwaters (BGS). A similar case occurred within California with the existence of lead and cadmium. Similar to Arsenic in the groundworks of Burkina Faso, there was a significantly large amount of lead found in the water system in California affecting the nervous system, kidneys of children (Rios, Michael). Cadmium has also been found in California, because the metal is known to cause cancer and developmental harm there are several laws preventing certain amount of cadmium in drinking water (Monserrat, Laurie).
Often, toxic substances are being drained into the air, waterways, and undergrounds wells. According to the report by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 60 million pounds of deadly chemicals are produced by industries in Florida. Notably, Florida’s water has been suffering mercury contamination until the state’s department of migration issues a circular regularly for regulations of eating freshwater fish in the region (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). In fact, such metals emanate from coal combustion’s emissions which run into water bodies. Not to mention, pesticides and herbicides utilized by government and homeowners pollute the environment (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission). Indeed, all chemicals released into the atmosphere find themselves in rivers.
Interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. Consequently, groundwater pollution, sometimes referred to as groundwater contamination, is not as easily classified as surface water pollution. By its very nature, groundwater aquifers are susceptible to contamination from sources that may not directly affect surface water bodies, and the distinction of point vs. non-point source may be irrelevant. A spill or ongoing releases of chemical or radionuclide contaminants into soil (located away from a surface water body) may not create point source or non-point source pollution, but can contaminate the aquifer below, defined as a toxin plume. The movement of the plume, a plume front, can be part of a Hydrological transport model or Groundwater model. Analysis of groundwater contamination may focus on the soil characteristics and site geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, and the nature of the contaminants.
With air and soil pollution comes water contamination. In the event that a leak takes place underground it results in contamination to the groundwater. This groundwater slowly moves into other bodies of water and spreads the contamination. A wide spread area can be affected. (Rinaldi 422). The chemicals that are found in the contaminated water include Sodium Sulfite, Uranium 226 & 228, high levels of Sodium, and too many others to list. Bromite is among the worst because once treated at a water treatment facility it mixes with the chlorine to produce Trihalomethane. Trihalomethane is known to cause cancer. (Ken Dufalla, qtd. "FRACK US"). After repeated reports of drinking water contamination in PA alone, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released a statement that "[The industry will require an ‘adjustment period' to refine practices.]" (PA DEP, qtd. Bamberger and Oswald
An example of the invasive nature of underground copper mining is the Mount Morgan copper mines in Queensland, which ran from the 1880’s to the 1980’s. The remains of this mine were left and have affected the water quality of the Dee River. The water in the Dee River has become acidic, and is not suitable for drinking, swimming or fishing. In heavy rainfall events, it is possible for runoffs of contaminated water to spread through the area (Qld.gov.au, 2017). The impacts of this mine, which has been shut down for more than 40 years, are still affecting the surrounding environment
There has been an increased presence within the water of toxic chemicals, metals, and disease causing microorganisms throughout the years. In general, the main cause of water pollution is the sewage pipes as well as the factories which are slowly becoming more in control. Although the contamination of water has slowly began to be stopped there is still heavy contamination from the waterways from the farmlands which tend to carry fertilizers, pesticides, as well as organic matter. Rain is a major contributor to water contamination from the different acids and heavy metals which fall with the rain contribute to the water
A water treatment plant built by Atlantic Richfield Co. was completed in 2004. Current plans are for the plant to begin purifying the water in 2019, just a few years before water rises to the critical level. However, the facility presently uses a water treatment method that will contain the metals in the Berkeley Pit, not remove them. When the plant comes online, it will use a process of adding lime (basic material composed of calcium oxide) to the water to increase its pH to be less acidic. As the pH rises, metals will lose solubility and begin to separate from the water. Polymers will be added to the mix to bond to the metallic sludge and will be separated from the water (PitWatch, 2013). The remaining purified water will be released into the Silver Bow Creek while the sludge byproduct will be released back into the lake. In order to prevent the water level from reaching critical, Horseshoe Bend Water Treatment Plant must treat over seven million gallons of water a day, of which 500,000 gallons will be returned to the lake (Christensen, 2014). Additionally, the artificial mixing from the treatment plant creates substances such as schwertmannite and jarosite (which store heavy metals in the lake bed). If the minerals oxidize from the acidity of the pit, their stored chemicals will
These chemicals, which are actual poisons, make their way to our ground-water supply, which in turn is consumed by us.
Water is an important resource for people and there its use is limited. Most of it is contaminated and there is an increasing amount of contamination in it. So many chemicals have mixed that scientist can't even determine what chemicals are in the water. Many of these chemicals come from seeped chemicals used on farmlands while others are purposely applied to the water to destroy unwanted organisms. Some parts of the water are so contaminated that it cannot be treated by purifying plants.
The health hazards for humans who come in contact with contaminants from exposure to polluted water can have long term effects on the body causing possible organ failure and death. Contaminants and chemicals such lead and mercury can bring about many minor illnesses ranging from nausea, lung irritation, skin rash, vomiting, and dizziness, to the major diseases that include cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, damage to the immune system, birth defects and even death.
7. The Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 established the basic framework for protecting the drinking water of the United States. Most ground water used for drinking water occurs near the earth’s surface and is easily contaminated .The major concern is the potential contamination of underground sources of the drinking water by any of the hundreds or thousands of subsurface wastewater disposal .Waste disposal wells dispose of approximately more than 11% of the nation’s toxic fluid waste. The injection wells can be good or bad and cause a major problem. Some of the wells are used many different ways like for a aquifer recharge and the production of oil, gas, or minerals. Also for improper usage as disposal of toxic and hazardous waste. The EPA
Phytoremediation is the process by which plants and trees are used to remove or stabilize hazardous pollutants that exist in soil, sediments, surface water or groundwater. The EPA (environmental protection agency) estimates that more than 30,000 sites in the U.S. are in need of environmental treatment, and a great number of these sites are contaminated with highly toxic metals. Abandoned or under-used commercial and industrial facilities, termed as “brownfields,” are a major contributor to this environment concern. “Brownfields” pose significant health risks to nearby residential populations and threaten the plant and animal life close to them. Phytoremediation provides a very