Water Quality Assessment. Environmental Impact

Table of Contents

Introduction

Maintaining good water quality is essential to human health; thus, the recent decades have outstandingly worsened the water across communities worldwide by pollution. A variety of areas around the world face different challenges regarding water conditions; hence, today’s report will focus on identifying issues in Longmont, Colorado, and investigate the reasons for particular water pollutions. Moreover, to demonstrate the solutions to these problems, multiple management practices to increase water quality will be provided.

Overview of a Water Quality Report

Longmont water comes to the house of residents from several natural resources. These reservoirs are St. Vrain Creek, The Colorado, and Fraser Rivers (The City of Longmont, Colorado, 2019). The water’s overall condition in the city is believed to be satisfactory, as the resources it comes from are mostly located in the wilderness, unaffected by the pollution of urban gas emissions. To ensure the water’s safety is frequently tested by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) (The City of Longmont, Colorado, 2019). Accordingly, the water quality is continuously evaluated to guarantee its safety for the community residents.

Additionally, the City of Longmont tests the tap water of the town to re-evaluate its safety. In 2019 it was tested over 11 000 times, met all EPA and State drinking water health standards each time (The City of Longmont, Colorado, 2019). Nevertheless, several regulated contaminants are present in the water, including Barium, Nitrate, Chlorine, and Combined Radium, which originate from metal refineries discharges, fertilizer use, and disinfection. Therefore, Longmont water is safe to use, and due to a small-sized community free of major pollutions, meets all the health requirements.

Identifying Water Quality Issue

Longmont, Colorado, is a relatively small community, free from giant constructions and major pollutions. Despite the town’s water correspondence to all federal demands, Chromium (Cr6+) is found in it – a toxic environmental pollutant contaminates water due to its use in mining, pigment manufacture, and nuclear weapon production industries (Ray, 2016). Therefore, this element indirectly comes into the rivers of Longmont and the houses. Environmental Working Group reports a two-time exceedance of Chromium in Longmont’s water, threatening the citizens’ health (Environmental Working Group, 2019). The main effect of Cr presence in tap water is a risk of cancer.

Hexavalent chromium can have a significant effect on a person’s well-being, even in minimum dosages. Exposure to this element is classified as carcinogenic to humans and associated with cancer development (Moffat et al., 2018). An example of fatal Hexavalent Chromium impact was detected in Kings County and San Bernardino County in California. As a result of exposure to this chemical in the drinking water and soil, 2 million people died in those areas (Tseng et al., 2019). The impact of Cr6+ on human health is hazardous, primarily through oral intake, which is the case for Longmont.

Additionally, children face a more significant threat from the daily intake of water with hexavalent chromium. The assessment of groundwater contaminants found that Cr6+ contributed most to total health risks, increasing chances for developing lung, liver, and stomach cancer (Moffat et al., 2018). The research in China’s towns showed a negative carcinogenic influence of this element, especially on children. Kids who intake water with high contamination face higher contingencies of life threats due to lower body mass and weaker organisms (He & Wu, 2018). Hence, the detrimental Hexavalent Chromium effects are scientifically proved and must be eliminated in Longmont.

The environmental impact of chromium is hazardous, contaminating soils and intoxicating plants. Hexavalent chromium existent in inorganic compounds is highly toxic to terrestrial and aquatic organisms. In the case of plants, scientific research found initially contaminates seeds, causing the slowdown in growth, and consequently, yield (Christou et al., 2020). Such effects cause crop reduction and human intake of this contaminant, which is dangerous for health. The mining industry is the main producer of Cr6+, which causes horrifying effects on the community around. The primary mining site of Odisha, India, is highly polluted by chromium from improper waste disposal and transferred to other cities through water or air pollution (Das et al., 2020). Consequently, Longmont similarly receives a dangerous contaminant from near areas that do not eliminate waste properly.

Management Practices for Water Preservation

The need to reduce water pollution is crucial for modern society, as it is a vital source for living. A variety of factors may reduce water pollution; in agriculture, conservation buffers are a great tool for providing additional protection barriers that prevent potential pollutants from running off into surface waters. Cities may also fight water pollution by implementing best management practices. Disposal of household chemicals safely is crucial for the surrounding community, as the incorrect placement may threaten their health. Specific household chemical collection centers offer safe, environmentally friendly waste disposal, which is the best way to dispense chemicals. Lastly, crop rotation is a useful practice, allowing agriculture to produce products without pesticides that are absorbed by the soil and transfer into the water bodies.

Conclusion

Longmont, Colorado is a small community, which reportedly has low water pollution. The town council has shown to care about water quality and regularly tests it to ensure the safety of this vital product. Nevertheless, hexavalent chromium is one highly dangerous component that poses a major threat to citizens’ health. Multiple research has proved its impact on human well-being and the environment. Therefore, the adoption of management practices for the reduction of this toxic component is essential for Longmont to secure the community from significant risks.

References

Christou, A., Georgiadou, E. C., Zissimos, A. M., Christoforou, I. C., Christofi, C., Neocleous, D., Dalias, P., Torrado, S. O. C. A., Argyraki, A., & Fotopoulos, V. (2020). Hexavalent chromium leads to differential hormetic or damaging effects in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) plants in a concentration-dependent manner by regulating nitro-oxidative and proline metabolism. Environmental Pollution, 267, 115379. Web.

Das, P. K., Das, B. P., & Dash, P. (2020). Chromite mining pollution, environmental impact, toxicity and phytoremediation: a review. Environmental Chemistry Letters. Web.

Environmental Working Group. (2019). EWG’s Tap Water Database: What’s in Your Drinking Water? Web.

He, S., & Wu, J. (2018). Hydrogeochemical characteristics, groundwater quality, and health risks from hexavalent chromium and nitrate in groundwater of huanhe formation in Wuqi County, Northwest China. Exposure and Health, 11(2), 125–137. Web.

Moffat, I., Martinova, N., Seidel, C., & Thompson, C. M. (2018). Hexavalent Chromium in drinking water. Journal – American Water Works Association, 110(5), E22–E35. Web.

Ray, R. R. (2016). Adverse hematological effects of hexavalent chromium: an overview. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 9(2), 55–65. Web.

The City of Longmont, Colorado. (2019). Web.

Tseng, C.-H., Lee, I.-H., & Chen, Y.-C. (2019). Evaluation of hexavalent chromium concentration in water and its health risk with a system dynamics model. Science of The Total Environment, 669, 103–111. Web.

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