In this research, we are going to explore the adverse effects of pollution on our environment. Pollution is the process of contaminating the environment (Oxford advanced learners dictionary pg 900). This causes discomfort, disorder, instability or even harm to physical features and living things of a place. It comes in various forms, but the main four are air, water, soil and noise pollution. The increase of human activity on the earth consequently increased pollution. It has been very hazardous. This made scientists come up with ways to curb it. It is still a problem these days, and so people have not stopped working to end it.
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Our focus is on water and soil pollution. Water and soil pollution is the process of contaminating water and soil. In this project, we will investigate the apparent main pollutants of the Spring Mill Lake in South Central Indiana. The source of pollution in this water basin is the non point source. Non-point source of pollution comes from runoff water (“Atomic Cannonball off the High Dive” par 6). This is water from rainfall snowmelts. The runoff picks and caries human made and natural pollutants and later deposit them in water bodies. These are different water bodies for example, rivers, underground water and lakes and oceans.
The pollutants include lethal chemicals from towns, agricultural chemicals from farmlands, bacteria and nutrients from faulty septic tanks, sediments from construction sites, oil and grease from manufacturing factories. The natural sources include sediments from eroding riverbanks, salt from dissolving salt rocks, and bacteria and nutrients from animal wastes.
The Spring Mill Lake is in the Mitchell plateau physiographic area. This is a karst region formed on dolostones and limestone. This is in South Central Indiana. Non-point source pollution is common in such regions because karst is made of permeable rocks, which are not good filters. These rocks are aquifers and they are extremely vulnerable to contamination. In karst terrain, drainage is not definite. This channels all runoffs to underground waterways. The water then finds its way to various natural springs and flow on surface streams to the lake. In that case, it is always difficult to control their flow into the lake. This is the geology of the place on focus.
South Central Indiana is mainly agrarian with scattered forests. They are discrete like woodlots. The region has categories of ecological land types basing on relationship among soil, landform characteristics and vegetation cover. Plant communities relate very much to soil horizon depth, soil texture and landform topography.
Indiana has a wide range of economic activities. There are several factories manufacturing different types of products. There are factories producing electric motors, pharmaceutical companies, bio – based renewable plastics, steel products and cement. Tourism is also a growing industry in Indiana. The place is attractive to many visitors who spend their holidays there (Kathy par 20). Education, research and agriculture are also the other economic activities in South Central Indiana. The above-mentioned activities are the main uses of land.
From a keen look, it becomes very clear that the Spring Mill lake is becoming more shallow because of sedimentation. Its shores have litter. The project in course has an aim of reducing the sedimentation of the lake and cleaning the water that flows into it. The project chosen is planting more trees along the riverbanks to help in preventing erosion of the riverbank. The second thing is cleaning up the littered river. The reduction of erosion through tree planting will substantially reduce the quantity of sediments carried to the lake. This learning project has made us realize that protecting the water banks is very important. Without maintaining them, we ruin our water bodies.
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The following are the effects of clearing trees on riverbanks. The water cycle is affected. Trees absorb water by their roots from the ground and release it to the atmosphere. This is in the process of transpiration. This process helps in the making of rain. Cutting the trees, especially those near the rivers, introduces a break to the water cycle. This will result into a dry weather and consequently climate. Trees are in the middle of the cycle. They are an integral part of the cycle.
Trees control the rate at which rain hits the ground. They hold up the rain and release precipitation gently onto the ground. This gives a perfect protection to the soil of a place. Splash floods will not occur to wash the soil away. This cover also helps in retaining the nutrients of the soil. Besides that, the old leaves that fall of increase the natural fertility of the soil. Maintaining trees along the riverbank will also keep the water clean. Flash Floods will not drain sediments into the river. Nutrients that would otherwise be in the soil will not move to the water. This will maintain a nutrient balance between the land and in sea, lake or ocean that the river drains its water. In this project, we plant more trees on the banks of the Lost River. This is with the aim of reducing the runoff water that carries many types of sediment (Ginn, Brian, et al Pp 14). We are also out to reduce the nutrients that this water carries off to the lake. The nutrients increase in the lake will cause the periodic increase of aquatic plants and algae (“Water Quality and Karst Hydrogeology” par 3). The proliferation of this plants and algae brings competition for the dissolved oxygen in water. Aquatic animals with these plant families will not have enough oxygen for life sustenance. Usually, the marine animals die. The aim of the project is to ensure that such occurrence will not happen in future.
Clearing of trees from a river basin will cause strong winds to sweep across the place. Trees check the speed of wind. Strong winds are usually very destructive. Apart from being catastrophic, in caries away the evaporating water from a river basin. This will eventually reduce the water in the place. It may even cause the drying up of a river if the trees make up the catchment area. This does not only apply to Central Indiana but to the whole globe. There are many places that people have encroached into forests and have settled along riverbanks. This should be very clear to them, because this will eventually harm them. We also have trees protecting soil from direct water loss through evaporation. Exposed soil will eventually reduce the amount of precipitation of a place (“Deforestation Effects on Micrometeorology” pg 1027)
The project service also aimed at cleaning parts of the shore of the lake and the estuary of the river. Littering of any place is not pleasing at all. Different types of objects such as polythene papers, cloth rags and even plant remains that float on water are the things in question. They cause the breeding of microorganisms that may cause diseases to human beings or even animals. The ambience of the place will improve on cleaning. These shores have a potential for an upgrade to a recreational site. This in turn generates income to the developers.
As we have seen, on planting trees, the quality of water changes a lot. This is water on the surface, water in the ground, and water in the atmosphere. Erosion of soil also ends. The plating of trees will improve the quality of water.
This project is very important in Indiana. At the end, we will get clean water in the Spring Mill watershed. It will supply clean water for various purposes. These are like drinking water, sustain life, recreation and respite (“A Water Shed Approach” par 1). This will offer protection to aquatic animals. Among them are the fish, which are food for a large population.
The increase of tree population will also help in cleaning the atmospheric air. This is because they will increase the amount of oxygen released to the atmosphere. It does this and at the same time reduces the amount of carbon dioxide.
The project will also show all people who will learn of it that it is very important to maintain a perfect vegetation cover. As they take the example of this project, the economies of the various places will rise. This is because the cost of repairing destroyed land is usually high. A polluted environment also prevents positive development through the hazards that it causes.
Other forms of water pollution that we did not focus on in this project are waste products from runoffs from urban areas, industrial waste drainage, and septic systems. The main causes of these are overloading the system with garbage, septic tank cleaning additives, household chemicals, poor installation and maintenance of the systems and overcrowded septic systems.
The remedies of this are proper use of the system, the use of less hazardous products, informing and educating the public, and providing facilities for disposing unused chemicals and chemical containers (“Groundwater pollution” par 4).
Farm and hose chemicals are another source of soil and water pollution. To detect these chemicals, we use the well water test. The main reasons for this mode of pollution are improper use of these chemicals, poor disposal, and septic systems that are very shallow. To prevent this, use appropriate chemicals, make the public aware of the hazards of wrong use of the various chemicals and teaching them about the recommended ways. People should be encouraged to have proper storage (“Storage” par 1). In line with that, we should encourage the use of less poisonous chemicals.
Deicing salts is another source of water pollution. This makes the water in the wells to be very salty and have high levels of chlorides. The source of this is the runoffs from piles and highways. We use properly built storage to prevent runoffs from them. We should also minimize the use of salts. Instead of using deicing salt, we should use alternative deicing material.
Pipelines may contaminate the underground water also. The evidence to this is the offensive smell in well water, detection of pipe leakage, excess chemicals and bacteria in underground water. The causes of this are poor maintenance, installation, and inspection of the underground pipes. Vibrations from heavy vehicles make the pipes burst sometimes. They then release their content to underground water. The best way to make sure this problem is not there is to install the pipes well. Regular inspection should also be done, and consequent repair if need be.
This project has its focus on the long-term maintenance of the ecosystem; ensuring not to compromise the ability of the generations to come to meet their needs. Tree planting takes care of this fact fully. It does that by making sure that those people who will come will benefit from the environment that is in order.
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Ginn, Brian, et al. Surface Water Acidification and Reproducibility of Sediment Cores Kejimkujik Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada. 2007. Pp 14. Web.
Ground water pollution. 2005. Web.
Karthy, Mayer. South-Central Indiana update: region’s top business stories. (Regional Report: South Central) Nov 2008 Indiana Business Magazine. 2009. Web.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 6th ed. Italy: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print. Pp. 900
“Storage-Polythene (Indoor or Outdoor). 2008. Web.
Watershed Approach. 2008. Web.
Water Quality and Karst Hydrogeology of Spring Mill Lake Drainage Basin. 2002. Web.