What is groundwater and why is it important to me?
More than two million Marylanders obtain their water from groundwater. Groundwater is created from rain that soaks into the ground, which absorbs it like a sponge. It is a natural resource that is used for drinking, household purposes, irrigation, business and industry needs.
Water that soaks into the ground is filtered as it passes through various layers of sand, clay or rock, before discharging to streams, rivers or the Chesapeake Bay. Too often groundwater is taken for granted because it cannot be seen.
Groundwater is vulnerable to pollution by livestock areas, abandoned mines, salted roads, farming and industrial areas. Homeowners also contribute to groundwater contamination by dumping household chemicals down the drain if they have a septic system or by pouring them on the ground.
Groundwater contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, or oil can result in serious human health problems. Those who consume contaminated groundwater may suffer bacterial diseases, nervous system disorders, liver or kidney failure, cancer or other ailments depending on the contamination.
To protect groundwater be proactive in the upkeep of your home and yard:
To protect groundwater make simple changes to your everyday activities:
Addtional Information and Related Links:
John Boris, Geologist, 410-537-3678 or John.Boris@maryland.gov
1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21230