Is there anyway for the oil to seep into the ground and hurt our water tables?



  1. 0 Votes

    There are a couple ways this can happen. The one that we can see right now is big oil spills that release a lot of oil into our water system. Another, less subtle way, is oil leaking from cars. This may only be a few drops from each car, but that is a lot of cars so it adds up to quite a bit of oil. The oil works its way down into the ground and into the water table. 

  2. 0 Votes

    Absolutely. The first thing that comes to mind is landfills, where chemicals from our trash can leach into the soil below and eventually contaminate our groundwater. Even though landfills are supposed to have a protective lining, this is not fool-proof and conceivably the layer may crack over time.

    Chemicals that people use can also end up in groundwater. For instance, pesticides used on crops and antibiotic-laced manure (from treated livestock) can become runoff when it rains, which can eventually percolate through the soil into our groundwater.

    The image below was taken from this page and illustrates various sources of groundwater contamination. As you can see, it is always a possibility that chemicals we used on the surface can get into our groundwater supplies because all water is part of the hydrologic cycle.

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