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Michael Forlini | Oct 5, 2010
Ground water is a resource found under the earth’s surface. Most ground water comes from rain and melting snow soaking into the ground. Water fills the spaces between rocks and soils, making an “aquifer.” Almost half of our nation’s drinking water comes from ground water. Most is supplied through public drinking water systems, but many families rely on private, household wells, and use ground water as their source of fresh water. Ground water — its depth from the surface, quality for drinking water and chance of being polluted — varies from place to place. Generally, the deeper the well is, the better the ground water quality. The amount of new water flowing into the area also affects ground water quality. Ground water may contain some natural impurities or contaminants, even with no human activity or pollution. Natural contaminants can come from many conditions in the watershed or in the ground. Water moving through underground rocks and soils may pick up magnesium, calcium and chlorides. Some ground water naturally contains dissolved elements such as arsenic, boron, selenium, or radon - a gas formed by the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in soil. Whether these natural contaminants are hazardous to humans’ health depends on the amount of the substance present.
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