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Groundwater Contamination.docx

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Department
Environmental Science
Course
ENVIRSC 1B03
Professor
Luc Bernier
Semester
Winter

Description
ENVIR SCI 1B03 February 5, 2014 Groundwater Contamination HOW SERIOUS IS IT? • Largely hidden from view – difficult to monitor unlike midnight dumping • Extent of the problem is poorly quantified – requires an understanding of where the water table is, dimensions of aquifer, relative positions of aquitards, etc. • This problem can go on fro a long time before we realize that an aquifer is contaminated and eventually becomes more difficult to deal with. • Results in an aquifer that Is unusable for long periods of time • It is difficult to do anything bout it because it cannot be monitored • Once contaminated, deep aquifers may be unusable for up to 10000 years Potential Sources • Point source: a specific spot where large quantities of pollutants are discharged o Not just applied to groundwater contamination • Non-point source: a diffuse source of pollutants o Multiple, smaller points of entries of pollutants o Does not carry significant load of pollutant, but as it accumulates, it becomes a big problem for the environment o Example: fertilizers along the bend of a stream along several km o Contaminated precipitation – fumes from industries rise to the atmosphere and condenses to form clouds and precipitate • DDT is banned • Parathion is a derivative of DDT • TCE – potential source of contamination • Petroleum based products such as benzene and toluene • Pathogens have the potential to contaminate sewage systems • Hydrocarbons from vehicles, organic waste, fertilizers • Houses: nonpoint source, each house contributes and pollutants accumulate • Contaminants move i
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