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Groundwater Awareness Week

March 12, 2018

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Groundwater Awareness Week

March 12, 2018

March 11-17, 2018

 

Did you know that more than 13.2 million households do not rely on municipal water, but their own well to provide them with fresh, contaminant-free drinking water?  These wells are recharged by groundwater which in turn is recharged by storm events and snow melt.

 

As rain falls to the ground, some of it is carried away as run-off to streams, lakes, and other bodies of water.  The rest permeates downward through the ground, being taken up through plant roots or moving through the open spaces between soil particles or rock veins.  As water flows through the ground there is a filtering effect, however bacteria and other contaminants are still capable of getting into springs and wells.  Consider this any time you are about to dispose of potentially hazardous substances “Would you want it in your drinking water?”

 

More often than not, groundwater contamination is caused by human activities.  Here are some examples:

 

  • Improper storage or disposal of hazardous substances (paints, cleaners, oils, etc)

  • Improper use of fertilizers, animal manures, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides

  • Chemical spills

  • Improperly maintained and/or built septic systems

  • Improperly abandoned wells

  • Poorly sited or constructed water wells

 

Of all the water found on Earth, only 2-3% is actually fresh water.  The rest is saline.  Of that small amount 1-2% is frozen in glaciers, ice, and snow and 0.5-0.75% is in the ground as soil moisture.  This leaves only about 0.1% (that’s right, a tenth of one percent) that is usable and accessible.  Groundwater is actually being considered the world’s most extracted raw material at a withdrawal rate of 259 trillion gallons per year! It has been estimated that households alone in the U.S. use 349 billion gallons of freshwater every day!  In 1990 2.2 billion gallons of groundwater was extracted and used for agricultural irrigation.  Today that number is 53.5 billion gallons!

 

I suppose it goes without saying, when it comes to water please be sure to conserve and protect.

 

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