Water is hugely important – and that could be considered the understatement of the century. After all, water brings life. Without water, we could not sustain ourselves, or anything else on this planet, as a matter of fact. We use water to drink, to keep our body going, to produce our food, and to clean ourselves and the things around us that need it. Here in the United States, it is all too easy to take our sources of water for granted, especially when clean water is sent directly into our homes. But clean and drinkable water is perhaps more scarce than many of us realize. In fact, only around three percent of all the water on the entire planet Earth is fresh water – and only one percent of this water is actually considered to be drinkable. And even here in the United States, where it can feel like fresh water is abundant, pollutants to our environment can make it difficult to sustain.
There’s no question that our environment has been in danger for a long time, and part of our overall environment is, of course, our sources of water. In the environment of the United States, the vast majority of accessible drinking water comes from groundwater. Groundwater is a hugely important part of our environment, as it makes up as much as ninety five percent of all freshwater sources of in the United States alone, providing fresh water to at least half of the people in the country.
But groundwater is part of our environment that has become very much contaminated in many places, making it more difficult than ever to get clean water. Not only has this led to groundwater contamination, but groundwater depletion as well, as true blow to the environment. There are many causes of pollution in our environment, and many of them greatly effect the quality of our sources of groundwater as well.
Chemical spills, for instance, our hugely detrimental for groundwater sources and for our environment as a whole. Chemical spills typically happen when a truck, train, or storage tank is overturned, and the chemicals can run off of the highway or train tracks (or wherever the spill may have occurred) and contaminate an important source of groundwater in this way. And chemical spills are perhaps more common than people realize, with more than fifteen thousand occurring each and every year in the United States alone.
And chemical spills are certainly not the only source of groundwater contamination in the United States. The dumping of industrial chemicals is another concern, and something that happens far too frequently for comfort. In fact, it has been found that as much as seventy percent of all industrial waste ends up dumped into a water supply – particularly a usable one, like groundwater, thus contaminating it, sometimes beyond usability. Of the most intense and serious industrial sites in the United States, as many as eighty percent of them have already seriously contaminated water sources in their general vicinity.
Fortunately, there are some steps that we can take, groundwater remediation technologies that have become available in recent years. And, fortunately, many of these groundwater environmental services have proved to be quite effective. Primary and secondary waste treatments alone can remove as much as ninety five percent of all contaminants that are found in wastewater sources, making the water usable again. However, it is far better just to leave the water alone in the first place, preventing the need for groundwater remediation technology to ever be used.
Unfortunately, this is not yet our reality. The pollution of our environment is ongoing, and though we have taken steps to prevent it, it is difficult to fully stop. From the energy that we consume to the cars that we drive to the water that we waste, it can be difficult – if not impossible, in today’s modern world – to fully remove your environmental footprint. Simply taking steps to limit it, such as turning off the water when you brush your teeth and avoiding the use of plastic water bottles, can help, and it is certainly better than doing nothing at all.