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Nitrate Contamination of Groundwater Poses a Serious Health Threat Nitrates contamination of the worlds underground water supply poses asa potentially serious health hazard to the human inhabitants on earthHigh 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
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