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Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater Contamination

Step 4: Chemicals Drawn Into Public Water Supply

Contaminant is drawn into the wells and enters public water supply

Once contaminated, groundwater may remain so for a very long time and cleanup can be very difficult and expensive. In some cases, it may not be possible to remove the contaminant completely. The costs to a community can be significant.
A water supplier must now decide how to respond to the contamination. The first step is shutting down the contaminated well until the impact of the contamination can be fully assessed. The water supplier may have to purchase additional water from another supplier if the remaining non-contaminated wells cannot produce enough water to meet community demands. The water supplier must then determine:
  1. What the source of the contaminant is;
  2. If the contaminant can be removed through the normal water treatment process
  3. If the contaminant can be removed in the well field, possibly by pumping the contaminated groundwater to prevent continued spreading of the plume; or
  4. If the well or well field must be totally abandoned and a new source of water found for the community.
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