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Groundwater Contamination

Did You Know?

Seventy-four pesticides have been detected in the ground water of 38 states

Ground Water Contamination

Ground water is found underground, usually between rock and saturated soil. Ground water supplies wells and springs used as a source of drinking water for cities and communities have become a breeding ground for strange bacteria known to cause illness in human beings all over the U.S. When groundwater is contaminated, it becomes unsafe for human consumption.

The main sources of ground water contamination are:  

  • Storage tanks - leaking storage tanks can contaminate groundwater
  • Septic systems - improperly maintained septic systems can leach into groundwater
  • Hazardous waste sites - barrels of hazardous waste laying around at an abandoned site can leak into the groundwater
  • Landfills - hazardous materials may contaminate groundwater if the protective layer of a landfill is cracked
  • Chemicals and road salts - chemicals used on crops and lawns, as well as road salts (used to melt ice on roads during wintertime) can contaminate groundwater

Health Effects of Ground Water Contamination

Groundwater contamination can have serious health effects of an acute or chronic nature. Acute side effects of groundwater contamination include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Legionnaire's Disease - a respiratory disease characterized by pneumonia, headache, and dry cough
  • Eye irritation
  • Nose irritation

Chronic Side Effects of Ground Water Contamination Include: 

  • Cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Anemia
  • Nervous system problems
  • Circulatory problems
  • Bone disease
  • Hair loss
  • Reproductive difficulties

Ground Water Contamination in Wells

More than 200 chemical contaminants have been identified in ground water. Ground water contamination usually arises when individuals have wells. In those circumstances, the ground aquifer is contaminated with the specific chemical or chemicals released by the responsible party. This material then develops into a plume and infiltrates the various well water sources. Individuals who own the wells are then exposed to the chemicals by ingestion (drinking the water), skin contact (bathing with the water) and inhalation (breathing steam from the water).

Being exposed to ground water contamination through direct contact with well water, people in areas with a high water table can be exposed to ground water contamination from the air in their home. If the chemicals are volatile, such as gasoline or other materials, they may escape into a person's basement and may be trapped, thereby exposing the home-owner who may inhale the fumes.

There are a number of naturally-occurring contaminants in groundwater such as; arsenic, radon, bacteria, parasites, viruses, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, sulfate, chloride, barium, lead, zinc, copper, radium, uranium, and fluoride.

Some of these (radium, radon, bacteria, parasites, viruses, arsenic, uranium, and lead) pose a health risk if present a high levels. This list is not an all inclusive listing of possible contaminants.

State health officials have also identified a number of human-made contaminants that are showing up in the ground water supplies. They are: nitrate nitrogen, atrazine, arsenic, benzene, toluene, alachlor, Trichloroethylene (TCE), bacteria, parasites and viruses, and chloroform All of these compounds are a health concern when present in concentrations above established health advisory levels

Ground Water Contamination Lawyer - KnowYour Legal Rights

If you or someone you know has suffered serious side effects or a fatal injury that you believe may be related to exposure to environmental hazards, you may be eligible to file a claim.


If you are in need of legal advice or services, or simply wish to speak to an attorney who has successfully handled a Ground Water Contamination case in , you may use this Free Online Consultation Form.

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