Due to the influence of overlying land uses groundwater is susceptible to contamination as potential contaminants from the surface infiltrate through the soil to the groundwater table. CBC recently reported on such an incident of groundwater contamination from the use of firefighting foams used as part of an emergency response to a fire at Smiths Falls. The firefighting foam used to suppress the fire worked it’s way to the groundwater contaminating the supply. PFAS used In such foams and its potential environmental impacts to soil and groundwater is an area of contamination which has been termed “the new asbestos”. While it is unlikely to be as widespread as asbestos it’s ability to contaminate groundwater is of serious concern. This is only one of the many risks to groundwater and if you are reliant on groundwater wells it is important that the water is regularly tested for a range of potential contaminants. Contaminants can take many years to reach the groundwater table and therefore regular monitoring is important to pick up any changes early and to ensure the water is fit for human and animal consumption. On larger properties it is often a good idea to install monitoring wells on property boundaries to enable regular monitoring of water quality. This can assist in determining direction of groundwater flow and identify contaminants and their possible source before they reach the main supply well. The installation of groundwater monitoring wells is standard practice for many industries and businesses such as Gas Stations in order to monitor any potential groundwater contamination for both environmental and liability risk. As many Albertans rely on Groundwater for their drinking water supply it is important to have the water quality regularly checked to ensure it has not become contaminated. The links below provide some useful information.
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