Behind Water Contamination In The United States
The quest to get clean water is something that can be difficult for many people around the world. Here in the United States, we tend to take clean and easily accessible water for granted. After all, most of us – if not all of us – have easy access in the form of indoor plumbing. All we really have to do is turn on the faucet. We drink many glasses of water throughout the day, we take luxurious showers and baths, and we use indoor flush toilets (and many would be, in fact, horrified, by the thought of using anything but). Water is most certainly something that we need for life, but most of us are not consciously aware of where that water comes from. How do we get it? What is the cleaning process? What could be impacting the overall quality of our water sources?
In fact, there is far less clean drinking water easily available than many of us who are so fortunate to have never wanted for water often realize. When it comes down to it, only three percent of the total water not only in the United States but the world at large is freshwater. And of THAT water, only around one percent is drinkable. Though it may feel that water is plentiful, particularly if you have ever swam in or stood at the edge of the ocean, it is really anything but, as access to water itself may be simple – but access to drinkable freshwater is considerably less so.
Unfortunately, the need for dirty water treatment is higher than many people may realize. The need for dirty water treatment typically arises when fresh water sources are contaminated. Much of these fresh water sources come from ground water, with makes up as much as ninety five percent, if not more than, of the fresh water sources readily available to the United States. Groundwater contamination may be caused by a number of different factors, and can lead to groundwater depletion.
One such cause of groundwater pollution results from nearby hazardous waste sites. If a hazardous waste site is by a collection of groundwater used for drinking purposes, the need for dirty water treatment is likely to be high, because the risk of contamination is great. When it comes to groundwater near hazardous waste sites, more than eighty percent of these such bodies of groundwater are already contaminated. If nothing is done to prevent this in the next coming years, this problem of groundwater contamination is more than likely to only grow, with the need for dirty water treatment and groundwater remediation methods only becoming more and more widely necessary.
Another unfortunately all too common source of groundwater contamination results from chemical spills. Chemical spills often occur on highways as a result of trucking and motor vehicle accidents. Common chemicals that are then leaked into the environment and therefore groundwater sources in the event of a chemical spill often include oil, gas, and other chemicals that are hazardous to both people and the environment. It is estimated that around sixteen thousand chemical spills occur in just one year, and often result in the need for dirty water treatment as well as groundwater monitoring and remediation services in the years to follow.
There are even more causes behind groundwater pollution and the later need for dirty water treatment. The dumping of industrial waste materials is one, as industrial plants next to or nearby important sources of groundwater often end up contaminating them. In fact, as much as seventy percent of all the industrial waste generated in the United States is dumped into a source of ground water, thus rendering it dangerous to drink until a dirty water treatment is performed on it and salvages it to the best possible extent.
It is hugely important to we try to limit the pollutants that enter our water supplies – particularly our ground water supplies, which provide fresh drinking water to more than half of all of the people living in the United States. It is crucial that we avoid the contamination of hazardous waste products as well as the effects felt after a chemical spill.