The surface water is generally the one that comes from rains. It is normal for it to accumulate in lakes, rivers and oceans, it can also come from the groundwater which goes up to the surface from different basins. It is not something harmful by itself but when certain contaminants present there, our health is put at risk. This bad condition is attributed to the different toxic substances which are dissolved or mixed up with it. The poisoned sediments are the main thing which is considered as the reason why the condition of the surface liquids has deteriorated.
The contamination itself may happen differently. For instance, it may occur when perilous elements are refused directly. Similar dumping of these pernicious substances more often than not comes from industrial plants or sewer systems which are older and not properly taken care of. Another type of contamination may happen when the groundwater, which already has pollutants in it, reaches the surface or when harmful substances from the air deposit on the ground. Particles carried by the storm water runoff and particles from the air lie at the bottom of surface aquatic basins, coalesce with the sediment and stay there posing a serious threat.
How does it harm them all?
When the chemistry of the aquatic body changes by the contaminants, the nature is subject to stress and danger. The members of the food chain may be lacking food and this will affect their well-being and survival. Having drunk or bathed in the contaminated fluid, animals, as well as humans, are likely to experience health problems. Fish amasses the harmful substances in its body and when other animals or people consume it, they directly receive all the poisonous components. It has been proven that after the consumption of such fish, we are more affected than if we ourselves were directly exposed to the respective dangerous substances.
How can we tackle the problem?
The best thing we can do is to clean up the affected areas and apply appropriate preventive and safeguarding steps. We may resort to using certain chemical, physical or biological processes, which are natural, in our effort to eliminate the present contaminated state. Unfortunately, at some locations they are not enough. During the purification efforts, aeration or mixing is executed as well. As it was already observed, one of the main reasons for the unpleasant situation are the sediments, they are also the ones which are the most challenging to be dealt with. Three are the fundamental measures which are generally taken in the fight against water pollution.
- Dredging activities.
- Covering for the purpose of preventing contact with the surface water.
- The processes referred to as natural – although they are slow but also efficient.
In the cases in which there is no mixing present such as in the accidents with oil spills, the dangerous substances can be removed by simply being skimmed.