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Nitrates In Water By Danny Lewis

1425 words - 6 pages

Nitrates contamination of the world's underground water supply poses asa potentially serious health hazard to the human inhabitants on earth.High nitrate levels found in well water has been proven to be the cause fornumerous health conditions across the globe. If we intend to provide forthe future survival of man, and life on planet earth, we must take actionnow to assure the quality of one of our most precious resources, ourunderground water supply.Ground water can be defined as the water stored in the open spaceswithin underground rocks and unconsolidated material (Monroe and Wicander420). Ground water is one of the numerous parts that make up thehydrologic cycle. The primary source of water in underground aquifers isprecipitation that infiltrates the ground and moves through the soil andpore spaces of rocks (Monroe and Wicander 420). There are also othersources that add water to the underground aquifer that include: waterinfiltrating from lakes and streams, recharge ponds, and wastewatertreatment systems. As groundwater moves through the soil, sediment, androcks, many of its impurities are filtered out. Take note, however, thatsome, not all, soils and rocks are good filters. Some are better thanothers and in some cases, serious pollutants are not removed from the waterbefore it reaches the underground supply.Now that we have a good working definition of what groundwater is, andwhere it comes from, just how important is it? Groundwater makes up about22% of the worlds supply of fresh water. Right now, groundwater accountsfor 20% of all the water used annually in the United States. On a nationalaverage, a little more than 65% of the groundwater in the United Stateseach year goes to irrigation, with industrial use second, and third isdomestic use (Monroe and Wicander 420). Some states are more dependent ongroundwater for drinking than others. Nebraska and the corn belt statesrely on underground water for 85% of their drinking needs, and in Florida90% of all drinking water comes from underground aquifers (Funk and Wagnall2). People on the average in the United States require more than 50gallons of water each day for personal and household uses. These includedrinking, washing, preparing meals and removing waste. A bath in a bathtubuses approximately 25 gallons of water and a shower uses about l5 gallonsper minute of water flow while the shower runs. Just to sustain humantissue requires about 2.5 quarts of water per day. Most people drink abouta quart of water per day, getting the rest of the water they need from foodcontent. Most of the foods we eat are comprised mostly of water: forexample, eggs, are about 74% water, watermelon 92%, and a piece of leanmeat about 70%. Most of the beverages we drink are also mostly comprisedof water, like milk, coffee, tea and soft drinks. And the single largestconsumer of water in the United States, is agriculture. In dry areas,farmers must irrigate their lands to grow crops. It is estimated that inthe United...

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