Fresh drinking water makes up only 6% of
the total water on Earth and only 0.3% is
useable for drinking.
Municipal sources of groundwater contamination
include open dumpsites, poorly constructed or
maintained landfills, latrines and other waste sites.
Each of these can contain a range of pathogens
and toxins, including heavy metals, that can migrate
downward and contaminate aquifers.
Industrial pollution of groundwater can come from
dumping of wastewater or waste, from mining activities
and from leakage or spillage from other industrial
processes. Mining primarily affects groundwater
through leaching of mine tailing piles.5 Chemical
manufacture and storage similarly present a threat
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Valuable work is being done in South Africa.
Environmental solutions developer Earth Metallurgical Solutions (EMS) said it had completed trials proving that acid mine drainage (AMD) and AMD brines could be converted to potable water and saleable by-products, including fertiliser, explosives and the thermal salts for concentrated solar power plants.