Effects Of Groundwater Contamination

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Groundwater contamination can have serious effects on the environment, economy and human health. Serious health consequences can be seen by infants, pregnant women, and the elderly who regularly consume contaminated groundwater. Additionally, marine wild life can be hazardous to human health if they are harvested from an area of contaminated water. The source of groundwater contamination can come from many different causes such as chemical or pesticide use as well as agricultural run off. These chemicals can be carried through the air and can contaminate groundwater via rain or snow. Groundwater contamination can occur as a result of improper storage of chemicals or septic tank leaks. There are many things community members can do to lessen…show more content…
There are many dangers lurking in contaminated groundwater. Drinking the contaminated water can result in diseases, such as hepatitis, poisoning, and certain types of cancer. Microorganisms, such as bacteria or parasites, can infect groundwater and can be ingested from drinking the water or from leisure activities. For example, a mother that is bottle feeding her baby might incidentally be poisoning her child with pesticides, nitrates, or atmospheric pollutants. Children, the elderly and pregnant woman are most susceptible to the adverse effects of groundwater contamination. An example of this is Baby Blue syndrome which is caused by high levels of nitrates in drinking water. This syndrome can lead to heart disorders in young children and will require surgery for treatment. In addition, if our groundwater is contaminated then our crops might also run the risk of contamination. Our crops would be less healthy and less plentiful and could potentially have a negative effect on our quality of…show more content…
One sustainable solution that has been proposed by the scientific community is bioremediation. Bioremediation is the application of microorganisms or biological enzymes to treat or remove contaminants. (“In Situ Bioremediation,” para. 1) Bioremediation is a lower cost and more effective option than removing contaminated soil offsite as a preventative measure, before the contaminants reach groundwater. When contaminants reach ground water bioremediation is still an excellent option, but it takes a longer period of time to remove the contaminants. Bioremediation is a sustainable option because it uses naturally occurring microbes that degrade contaminants naturally. This is most evident in the Exxon Valdez spill, where bioremediation was applied and was a major factor in restoring the environment. One of the most beneficial aspects of bioremediation is that this solution is ready for use today. From the time that the microbes are applied to the contaminants it can take anywhere from 65 days to several hundred days. Factors that can influence the time it takes to render the contaminants ineffective are seasonal temperatures, which contaminants where spilled, and the depth and area of contamination. The cost of bioremediation is another appealing aspect to this option because the cost is relatively low. There is no construction cost and the machinery cost is low. The cost of aerobic
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