Saturday, March 7, 2015

Soil Contamination Terminology Part Two

photo cred: http://www.water-technology.net

                  Here is a list of terms that you will see on many posts in Dirty Soil. If you have came across some terms you may not fully understand, I am here to help! Below are simple definitions and explanations of terms used in regards to soil contamination. I hope this will help make sure we can ALL join the conversation on soil contamination.

Biodegradable:

 “The ability of a substance to be broken down physically and/or chemically by microorganisms” (www.epa.gov).

This is important in regards to soil contamination because it is a way for soil contamination to be reduced. Using and creating a demand for biodegradable products will although products to be disposed of by 'microorganisms' as oppose to harsh chemicals. As blog readers, you know the impacts of harsh chemicals on soil (if you don't yet, keep on exploring the blog!) so anything we can do to decrease the use of harsh chemicals is highly suggested.

Chemical Landfills:

“Secure chemical landfills are disposal sites for hazardous waste, selected and designed to minimize the chance of release of hazardous substances into the environment” (www.epa.gov).

Mismanagement of chemical landfills often can cause soil to become contaminated. Sometimes 'minimizing the chance of release' falls short of what is necessary to prevent soil contamination. The release of hazardous substances can contaminant our water, our air, and of course our soil. 

Runoff: 

“The portion of precipitation, snow melt, or irrigation water that runs off the land into streams or other surface-water. It can carry pollutants from the air and land into receiving waters” (www.epa.gov).

Runoff can contaminant other waters but it also can contaminant soil. The water from runoff can pick up harsh chemicals and carry them onto the soil where food for consumption is grown.

Soil Degradation: 

“Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastural, industrial or urban purposes” (www.environment.nsw.gov)

Soil Degradation addresses the causes of soil quality decline. Soil degradation can be caused by climate change but it also can me caused by chemical manipulation as well.

Wastewater: 

“Water that has been used in homes, industries and businesses that is not for reuse unless treated by a wastewater facility” (www.epa.gov).

When wastewater is not properly managed an issue called wastewater discharge can occur. Wastewater discharge, which is typically untreated wastewater, can impact the quality of soil.

Do you still have some terminology you do not understand? Click the link below http://ofmpub.epa.gov/sor_internet/registry/termreg/searchandretrieve/termsandacronyms/search.do Type in your term and press go to enjoy more definitions and information on environmental vocabulary.

Pure Soil, Pure Food, Pure People,

Maryah Jackson, 2015

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