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Ground water contamination sources fact sheet


March 9, 2016
By Ground Water Canada

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Simcoe, Ont. – The Environment and Climate Change Canada lists several potential sources of contamination for water wells.  Here is a rundown worth sharing with well owners.

Point sources include:

·      On-site septic systems

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·      Leaky tanks or pipelines containing petroleum products

·      Leaks or spills of industrial chemicals at manufacturing facilities

·      Underground injection wells (industrial waste)

·      Municipal landfills

·      Livestock wastes

·      Leaky sewer lines

·      Chemicals used at wood preservation facilities

·      Mill tailings in mining areas

·      Fly ash from coal-fired power plants

·      Sludge disposal areas at petroleum refineries

·      Land spreading of sewage or sewage sludge

·      Graveyards

·      Road salt storage areas

·      Wells for disposal of liquid wastes

·      Runoff of salt and other chemicals from roads and highways

·      Spills related to highway or railway accidents

·      Coal tar at old coal gasification sites

·      Asphalt production and equipment cleaning sites

Non-point (distributed) sources include:

·      Fertilizers on agricultural land

·      Pesticides on agricultural land and forests

·      Contaminants in rain, snow, and dry atmospheric fallout

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Source: Adapted from: Cherry, John A. “Groundwater Occurrence and Contamination in Canada.” In M.C. Healey and R.R. Wallace, Canadian Aquatic Resources, eds., Canadian Bulletin of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 215: 395. Department of Fisheries and Oceans: Ottawa, 1987.

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