Groundwater is one of our most important natural resources and constitutes nearly 95% of all available fresh water resources in the U.S. For more than half the population, it is the only source of drinking water and water for all domestic uses. Groundwater contamination can occur in a number of ways. In particular, industrial processes and facilities, if improperly managed, can lead to groundwater depletion or pollution.
The importance of groundwater
Even though the earth is a water planet, only 3% of the total is fresh water. Most of this is locked up in the ice caps, leaving only a smaller percentage for use. Around the world, people rely on groundwater as their major source of water supply for drinking, cooking, washing and other necessary activities.
While groundwater is necessary for our survival, it is very vulnerable to contamination from both chemical and organic sources. Groundwater depletion and pollution are sources of concern for all concerned with maintaining a clean supply of drinking water
The sources of contamination
As much as 70% of the total amount of industrial waste is simply dumped into water bodies such as lakes, rivers and streams, and the oceans. Pollutants from more than 80% of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the country have been found to affect the quality of ground water in the area.
Chemical and oil spills too seep into the groundwater and affect its quality. It is estimated that about 16,000 chemical spills occur each year from trucks, trains, and storage tanks, especially when they are being transferred.
Contaminants can be chemical or organic. Chemical contaminants include road salt, toxic substances from mining, and motor oil. Organic contaminants can originate in improperly installed septic tanks and animal waste from farms. Gasoline, oil and other chemical can leak through storage tanks. Landfills too can leak when the protective layer at the bottom develops cracks, allowing pollutants to reach the groundwater.
Preserving the quality of groundwater
Industries such as manufacturing, chemical/ pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and utilities risk pollution and groundwater depletion as a result of their activities. Contamination can be removed through groundwater remediation techniques. These filter out contaminants like bio-hazards, pharmaceutical drugs toxic industrial waste and heavy metals.
Using primary and secondary waste treatments, about 85% to 95% of pollutants can be removed from wastewater before it is disinfected and discharged into water bodies.
Environmental remediation services
Environmental remediation contractors offer a full range of services and products to handle problems associated with groundwater, wastewater, contaminated soil and air emission.
- Remediation Equipment
- Remediation and Environmental Contracting
- Equipment Rentals
- Construction Dewatering
- Operations and Maintenance
These services cover a range of problems, such as handling flowback or produced water treatment for oil and gas industry, oil emulsion removal from surface water at utility plants, surface water treatment, groundwater remediation at brownfield sites, MGP remediation for gas plants and clean ups.
For personnel concerned with following environmental regulations and preventing groundwater depletion and pollution, such as environmental consultants, environmental directors, project managers within chemical plants, environmental remediation services offer complete, customized solutions.