One of the causes of groundwater pollution that has gained public attention in recent years is leaking underground gas storage tanks. A specific “no-knock” chemical called MTBE has been seeped into the wells of many homes due to the leakage.
Most of the tanks have now been replaced and MTBE is no longer used in gasoline. So, at least that's one thing we should not have to worry about anymore. Some things are expected to get worse.
The over-extraction of freshwater aquifers near coastal areas has caused the intrusion of seawater into wells that were at one time not brackish. This problem is expected to grow without something is done to control the use of freshwater for industrial applications.
One of the industries that have contributed to the problem is the bottled water industry. Although environmentalists and other groups have attempted to encourage the public to drink tap, rather than bottled water, the popularity of those bottles does not seem to have declined.
Of course, many industries cause problems for our environment. But when it comes to bottled beverages, the problems caused are numerous. Not only does the industry use up our freshwater; they use up other natural resources, such as oil and gasoline for transportation.
Mining is a major cause of groundwater pollution in some areas. Mining operations also use up a great deal of the local freshwater. In some cases, the aquifers have discharged up due to the intensity of the operations. Mines are also a source of surface water pollution.
Paving roads and other surfaces is a problem. Paving prevents rain from penetrating into the ground. The aquifers can only be refilled by rain. As societies continue to grow, the governments must make changes to ensure this does not happen.
Groundwater pollution may be a big problem for well owners, regardless of where they live. All wells should be tested for toxins. An appropriate water filtration system can be used to remove them.
Some contaminants that make well water unsafe to drink are naturally occurring. For example, lead and arsenic are naturally occurring elements found in rock formations. So, industrial pollutants are not the only problem.
Home water purifiers can also improve the taste when there is a high mineral content or when chlorine is used for disinfecting. In fact, there is not much that a home water purifier can not do these days.
If you are concerned about groundwater pollution in your area, you can have your well tested. If you are served by a public treatment facility, there are known contaminants. In either case, home water purification is recommended.