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Nitrate Contamination of Groundwater Poses a Serious Health Threat
Nitrates contamination of the world's underground water supply poses as
a potentially serious health hazard to the human inhabitants on earth.
High nitrate levels found in well water has been proven to be the cause for
numerous health conditions across the globe. If we intend to provide for
the future survival of man, and life on planet earth, we must take action
now to assure the quality of one of our most precious resources, our
underground water supply.
Ground water can be defined as the water stored in the open spaces
within underground rocks and unconsolidated material (Monroe and Wicander
420). Ground water is one of the numerous parts that make up the
hydrologic cycle. The primary source of water in underground aquifers is
precipitation that infiltrates the ground and moves through the soil and
pore spaces of rocks (Monroe and Wicander 420).
There are also other
sources that add water to the underground aquifer that include: water
infiltrating from lakes and streams, recharge ponds, and wastewater
treatment systems. As groundwater moves through the soil, sediment, and
rocks, many of its impurities are filtered out. Take note, however, that
some, not all, soils and rocks are good filters. Some are better than
others and in some cases, serious pollutants are not removed from the water
before it reaches the underground supply.
Now that we have a good working definition of what groundwater is, and
where it comes from, just how important is it? Groundwater makes up about
22% of the worlds supply of fresh water. Right now, groundwater accounts
for 20% of all the water used annually in the United States. On a national
average, a little more than 65% of the...