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Water and Soil Pollution


Water pollution is a growing problem in the world that affects everyone.  All forms of life on the planet rely on water for their very existence.  Without water nothing could live.  Unfortunately many sources of water have been affected by water and soil pollution from a wide variety of sources.  Water and soil pollution cause many problems to the health of the planet and its inhabitants.  It has been estimated that over 40% of the rivers, lakes and steams in the United States are too polluted to swim in or fish in.  When water and soil pollution spreads it can cause serious consequences.

One very big cause of water and soil pollution is large farms and feed lots.  These facilities raise hundreds of thousands of pigs, cows or chickens is a relatively small amount of space.  The resulting sludge and manure that is emitted from these animals creates a mountain of toxic waste.  Animal manure is known to be high in nitrates.  Most large feed lots also treat their animals with artificial growth hormones and antibiotics which are then also emitted into the soil and run off into the water supply.  This results in a very contaminated area that causes major water and soil pollution.  Another problem with these large feed lots is the amount of soil erosion that takes place as a result of not having any ground cover.

The animals are typically housed in a slew of mud and manure.  With no ground cover to hold down the soil the rain washes all of the contaminants right into the nearby water systems along with a lot of mud and sludge that further pollutes the water and causes a murky appearance.  When water becomes too murky the sunlight can not reach the plants on the bottom of the rivers and streams and they eventually die.  When this happens there is a decrease in oxygen in the water which causes more plants to die.  It is a viscous cycle that results in the death of many plants, animals and aquatic organisms.

One way that water and soil pollution can be prevented is by growing a buffer zone around farms and water ways.  A buffer zone would act as a filter of sorts to filter out a lot of the sludge and chemicals that are drained into the water from the large feed lots.  By growing a wide variety of ground cover as well it will prevent the depletion and erosion of the soil which will further protect the waterways from becoming polluted.  Taking steps now to prevent water and soil pollution will help protect the water sources in the future.


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