Nitrates in water By Danny Lewis

Essay by misterpimpinHigh School, 10th gradeA+, June 2003

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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 groundwater in the United States

each year goes to irrigation, with industrial use second, and third is...