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Nitrate Contamination of Groundwater Poses a Serious Health Threat Nitrates contamination of the worlds underground water supply poses as a potentially serious health hazard to the human inhabitants on earth High nitrate levels found in well water has been proven to be the cause for numerous health conditions across the globe If we intend to provide for the future survival of man and life on planet earth we must take action now to assure the quality of one of our most precious resources our underground water supply Ground water can be defined as the water stored in the open spaces within underground rocks and unconsolidated material Monroe and Wicander 420 Ground water is one of the numerous parts that make up the hydrologic cycle The primary source of water in underground aquifers is precipitation that infiltrates the ground and moves through the soil and pore spaces of rocks Monroe and Wicander 420 There are also other sources that add water to the underground aquifer that include water infiltrating from lakes and streams recharge ponds and wastewater treatment systems As groundwater moves through the soil sediment and rocks many of its impurities are filtered out Take note however that some not all soils and rocks are good filters Some are better than others and in some cases serious pollutants are not removed from the water before it reaches the underground supply Now that we have a good working definition of what groundwater is and where it comes from just how important is it Groundwater makes up about 22 of the worlds supply of fresh water Right now groundwater accounts for 20 of all the water used annually in the United States On a national average a little more than 65 of the groundwater in the United States each year goes to irrigation with industrial use second and third is domestic use Monroe and Wicander 420 Some
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