Groundwater Remediation: A Brief Guide

groundwater remediationThe safety of our drinking water should be a top priority. After all, only 1% of our planet’s water is actually suitable for drinking. Events in our own country illustrate the importance of having clean water available to us. From the crisis in Flint, Michigan to the countless spills of hazardous waste that occur around the U.S., we need to be doing more to ensure our citizens have access to this most basic life source.

While we often focus on the contamination of large water sources, groundwater contamination is often forgotten. Contamination of groundwater might not have been as big of an issue years ago, but due to increased chemical use, groundwater remediation is necessary to prevent major health concerns.

What does “groundwater” really mean?

Groundwater refers to water that’s held within the soil and even in rock crevices. That might seem like it’s not all that important for humans, but this water is actually responsible for supplying natural springs and water wells. It’s estimated that 25-40% of the world’s drinking water is taken from wells and boreholes. Farmers also use groundwater to irrigate crops, and other industries use it in product production. Therefore, it directly impacts the water that we eventually consume.

How can groundwater become contaminated?

In the past, groundwater was relatively clean and safe. But because of human activity (as well as other naturally occurring conditions), that’s not always the case now. Municipal and industrial waste spillage or dumping, leaking sewer or septic tank systems, landfill leaking, animal waste runoff, fertilizers, and pesticides can all contribute to contaminated groundwater. While some of the resulting dangerous effects of contaminated groundwater are immediate — like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea — others lay dormant for a long time. Certain types of cancer have been linked to contaminated groundwater.

What exactly is groundwater remediation?

Simply put, groundwater contamination remediation is a process that involves treating groundwater and removing pollutants from it (or, alternatively, turning those pollutants into harmless elements).

Is there only one method of groundwater remediation?

There are actually many techniques of contamination remediation, and there are all sorts of groundwater remediation equipment that are used to do the job. The pump and treat methods was used for many years; while it’s usually very successful, it’s not effective for certain contaminants. In recent years, many other methods have been developed, each falling into specific categories: namely, biological, chemical, and physical treatments. Each type of contamination situation will require a different treatment method, which is why specialized remediation services are often needed.

Groundwater contamination is a substantial issue. If you suspect groundwater contamination or need solutions, GWTT is here to help. To find out more about our remediation equipment options or the services we provide, please contact us today.