Modern farming techniques are vital to keeping the world’s huge population fed, but that does not mean they don’t have an effect on the environment. The same lab-produced fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that keep fields healthy and clear of pests and weeds can also be poisonous if they enter local streams, lakes and ponds. From there, these substances have the potential to get into groundwater, contaminating wells and other drinking supplies.
The potential side effects of these chemical contaminants include immediate illness, an increased risk of cancer, and a heightened danger of several other diseases. If you live in an area where farming is common, your water supply could be at risk. That’s why it is important to learn about the problem of agricultural runoff polluting water supplies, as well as what you can do to keep your drinking water clean.
Why Agricultural Runoff Is Important
The issue of agricultural runoff polluting water may not seem like a big deal, until you realize how much of our drinking water is affected. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indirect pollution from farms and other agricultural sources is actually the leading cause of water quality problems in lakes and rivers. It is also the second-biggest danger to wetlands on record, and one of the biggest contributors to problems in groundwater and drinking supplies.
How Farm Chemicals Get Into Your Water
Agricultural producers don’t just dump chemicals directly into waterways. In fact, most of them are not even aware of the damage they are doing to the environment and to the drinking water of nearby families. That is because applying fertilizer or pesticides at the wrong time could lead to excessive runoff the next time it rains.
Some farmers accidentally allow chemicals to enter the environment via badly-planned plowing or irrigation, while others do it by failing to place their animals in the right area. Even overgrazing can change the way local water systems work, causing chemicals to end up in the water. Many farmers and ranchers thing that government environmental regulations are inconvenient and nonsensical, but they are actually designed to keep your water pure. When people don’t follow them, problems can arise.
Dealing with Polluted Water
Because groundwater actually flows long distances, your drinking water can become contaminated by a problem that is actually located several miles away. If your water comes from a county or city source, there is a good chance it will have been treated before it reaches your home, but even large-scale treatment systems can miss a range of pollutants.
That’s why choosing a high quality water filtration system with ionizing capabilities is a good idea. You will get control over your water quality and avoid pollution from local fields and farms.