Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Groundwater Remediation, A Pressing Need in Today's Times

Water pollution today has reached alarming levels in most parts of the world. Surface freshwater bodies like ponds, lakes, streams and rivers have become increasingly polluted. This has resulted in groundwater becoming an important source of drinking water in many countries. In the U.S alone over half the population depends on groundwater supply for daily water needs. Groundwater is today used for a variety of purposes from agriculture to industrial, to irrigate large farms as well as in the production of goods.

Groundwater pollution causes

Increased human activities like construction and mining have resulted in pollution percolating into natural groundwater reservoirs. Some of the causes of groundwater pollution also include stagnant storm and rain water as well as surface water runoffs containing high amount of chemicals and organic waste like sewage. This results in large scale contamination of groundwater resources rendering it unfit for human use.

Groundwater remediation

Along with waste water treatment plants which seek to use recycled water, groundwater remediation has also become an important initiative to provide safe and clean water for human use as well as conserve the environment. Groundwater remediation involves specialized equipment and experience to conduct the various purification operations. Groundwater filtration involves removal of solid and dissolved impurities which includes organic material, chemical substances as well as gaseous elements.

Different remediation techniques

There are different techniques used to purify groundwater. An effective method involves use of vacuum machinery to pump out groundwater for treatment as well as extraction of gaseous vapors from ground water and soil. The method known as dual phase extraction makes use of carbon adsorption process by way of granular activated carbon filters and portable water filtration units.

Most groundwater remediation techniques use a combination of different methods for water purification depending upon the requirements. For example if the groundwater contains a high concentration of heavy metals then chemical precipitation reaction is used to ensure conversion of the metal ions into insoluble compounds. These particles are then removed by way of simple filtration or by way of settling chambers.

Activated carbon particles

Activated carbon is an important part of the purification process owing to its high surface area which causes organic impurities to chemically bind to the carbon particles. This process is known as adsorption and is highly efficient in removing dissolved organic impurities which even boiling the water does not render harmless. Active carbon is used in the form of fine granules spread out over a wire mesh to further increase their surface area for maximum effectiveness.

Groundwater remediation is an important aspect of maintaining public health and as such should be conducted at regular intervals by the concerned health authorities.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5063634

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