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Liquid Waste Disposal and Ground Water Contamination Term Paper

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Updated: Sep 12th, 2021

Introduction

Liquid waste disposal and ground water contamination is still a hotly debated issue by environmentalists. While many people are venturing into industrialization, there is the need to put in place the necessary mechanisms to minimize water contamination through liquid waste disposal. On site liquid waste disposal has become quite prevalent since the 19th century. This leads to water contamination and makes such an important resource lack use. Research reveals that many industries have sprouted which do not adhere to the set standards in line with waste disposal. Once the water is contaminated, it cannot be used for the activities which it was intended for. This paper is dealing with two case studies in relation to liquid waste disposal and water contamination in glacial deposits. There is an explanation of how the liquid waste disposal system contaminated the groundwater in glacial deposits. This paper clearly shows the remedial actions that were taken in relation to this problem. (Pink, 2006).

Case study 1

This case study is about The Davis Liquid Waste Site that occupied 10 acres of Smithfield in Rhode Island. This site had a hazardous waste disposal facility. The Company never used to treat the liquid wastes before disposing them and this resulted in water contamination. This Site used to handle very many hazardous materials. These materials included oils, non-halogenated solvents, halogenated solvents, caustics, acids, phenols, laboratory wastes and pesticides. These liquid wastes used to be in tank trucks and drums. These were dumped into a number of pits that were unlined which were very close to a glacier. Examination was carried out and it was verified that the ground water in glacial deposits there was contaminated by these liquid wastes. The Davis liquid waste site later on carried out the necessary remedies to prevent the contamination

Case study 2

This occurred in an EPZ company in United Kingdom that used to manufacture textiles. This Company deals with various chemicals in the processing department. It also carries out dying of fabrics and therefore deals with many different types of solvents and acids. Research reveals that this company used to release all these liquid solvents to a nearby water source without treating the liquid wastes. This resulted in water contamination and in fact the aquatic life there was killed by these wastes. After experts analyzing the operations of the company, it had to put in place measures that helped in solving the problem. (Gary, 2004)

The following picture illustrates the contamination of water by the liquid waste disposed by The Davis Liquid Waste

Source; Gary, H. (2004): Pollution in the Environment; London; Harvard press; pp 34
Source; Gary, H. (2004): Pollution in the Environment; London; Harvard press; pp 34

How the liquid waste disposal system contaminated the water

Analysis of the two case studies reveals that there was ground water in glacial deposits contamination by the liquid waste disposal from both companies. The Davis Liquid Waste Site released organic wastes into the water. This includes halogenated solvents that impose high oxygen demands on the receiving water and hence contaminating it. This actually increased the nutrient loading and this resulted in eutrophication. There was depletion of oxygen in the water due to the oil deposits that contaminated it. This actually had severe effects on the whole eco-system. The EPZ Textile industry released oils, acids and organic toxins into the water body. This led to the alteration of acidity, temperature and the conductivity of the water. The liquid disposal systems in both cases did not have good mechanisms put in place to purify the disposals. (Pink, 2006).

Remedial actions that were taken to lower the contamination

The two Companies took various remedial actions in relation to the problem that they experienced concerning liquid waste disposal. The following are the remedial actions that they took;

Recycling

The two companies decided to carry out the recycling of the liquid waste products. The wastes like paints, oils, non-halogenated solvents, halogenated solvents, caustics, acids, phenols, laboratory wastes and pesticides were recycled back into the initial stages of production. This is especially in EPZ Company that was producing textiles.

Treatment

After consulting various consultants, the two companies decided to carry out the treatment of the liquid waste. This was done by researching on the various wastes that were deposited by the companies. This included finding out the various components of each of the liquid wastes. They were then treated so that when they are the wastes are not harmful or so that they could not contaminate the ground water in glacial deposits. For instance the acid wastes in the EPZ company were mixed with the bases and therefore making the solution neutral. This makes the wastes not to contaminate the water bodies.

Proper drainage

Proper drainage systems were installed in the two Companies. This is because the draining systems that existed in the two Companies were not in good working condition. Proper drainage systems were installed in each department in the two companies. This helped to minimize the degree of pollution on the water bodies by the liquid waste disposals. (Gary, 2004)

Were the remedial actions successful or not

The remedial actions taken by the Davis Liquid Waste Site and the EPZ Textile Company were successful because the problem of ground water in glacial deposits contamination was minimized to very low levels. These new levels were actually very negligible.

Issues to deal with liquid waste disposal systems

This is a very integral issue in the society today. Issues that one could typically be dealing with in relation to liquid waste disposal systems include putting in place laws and rules that will help to minimize the contamination of groundwater. The government needs to be on the upfront concerning these matters because continual deterioration of water bodies.

Other issues include educating entrepreneurs and managers in industries on the adverse effects of groundwater contamination. The government needs to ensure that managers in the production industries are educated on the need of minimizing ground water pollution. This includes training them on the various ways through which these strategies can be implemented.

Another approach that can be used to limit the problem of water contamination is by purifying liquid wastes from industries before they are released into water bodies. Industries should put in place mechanisms that will purify harmful liquid wastes especially those that are rich in acids. This will help to greatly reduce the problem of climate change in the world today. This is because water contamination results in glaciations problems.

Policies need to be put in place so that there can be the minimization of water pollution. This needs to be carried out in every nation. For instance, in the UK, there are criminal laws that date back to the 16th century which are related to the controlling of water pollution. For instance in US, there was a great concern over water pollution and this led to the enactment of various laws against pollution. There is the Harbors and Rivers Act of 1899 which prohibits disposal of wastes into water bodies. They include streams, lakes, rivers and also the navigable water bodies. These wastes include both the liquid and the solid waste. (Pink, 2006).

Conclusion

Liquid waste disposal is an issue that needs to be taken with the seriousness that it deserves. This is because it plays a big role in ground water in glacial deposits contamination and this result in various climatic changes. These changes include changes in glaciations. Industries need to put in place mechanisms that will help minimize water contamination by liquid waste disposal. These include recycling and treatment of the liquid waste.

Reference

Gary, H. (2004): Pollution in the Environment; London; Harvard press; pp 30-35.

Larry, G; World Water Day: A Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water, About; 2006.

Pink, H. (2006): Liquid Waste Disposal in the 19th Century; New York; Melbourne Press.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Liquid Waste Disposal and Ground Water Contamination." September 12, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/liquid-waste-disposal-and-ground-water-contamination/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Liquid Waste Disposal and Ground Water Contamination'. 12 September.

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