Studies Finding More and More Pesticides in Groundwater


Environmental engineering butte

Humans rely on water for a lot. Not only do we require it to stay alive, but we use it to bath and water important things like our crops to keep us fed. Understandably taking care of our water supply is an important job for the continuation of our very species. However, not everyone is environmentally friendly.

For example, many companies use pesticides and chemicals on our crops that end up running off into important environmental areas, like estuaries and, inevitably, our groundwater. In fact, recent reports have found that about 45 percent of streams, 47 percent of lakes, and 32 percent of all bays in the United States are polluted. Additionally, it’s estimated that more than two-thirds of all the estuaries and bays in the U.S. are degraded and damaged because of all the phosphorous and nitrogen pollution, no thanks to all the pesticides being used today.

Today, more pesticides and chemicals are used on crops than ever before, and many have environmental implications. Not only do they have the potential to damage or completely change the surrounding environment, but some studies have found more than 73 different types of pesticides in groundwater samples. This is particularly alarming because, thanks to wells, much of this contaminated groundwater becomes drinking water.

Wells are still in use today. Sure, many people get their drinking water from their local city, but many still draw water from an underground well, and they’re still being built today. In fact, it’s estimated that about 500,000 new residential wells are constructed each year. That’s a lot of homes tapping into underground groundwater for their source of drinking water. So perhaps its time for more people and businesses to become more mindful of the environmental implications of their actions, such as spraying fields with harmful pesticides.

What do you think the solution is? Should more businesses who use pesticides and other harmful chemicals have to implement some sort of water quality monitoring or other environmental engineering solutions to make sure they’re not causing irreparable damage? One this is for sure, the status quo can’t be allowed to continue.