If you need help understanding these requirements contact the Environment Agency. You should contact your local council to let them know you are planning a home burial. You may need to speak to the environmental health department.
You can find further information on private land burials on the Natural Death Centre website. Site managers and owners must follow minimum groundwater protection requirements. Contact the Natural Death Centre to find out how to arrange a green funeral. Manage existing cemeteries to limit environmental impact. For example, use methods such as artificial drainage to reduce the risk and meet the minimum requirements where possible.
Any extension to an existing site must comply with the requirements for new cemeteries and extensions. All existing sites should have an appropriate risk assessment. As a minimum you must do a tier 1 risk assessment to evaluate the potential harm to groundwater from pollution. Local councils control new cemetery and extension applications through planning laws, and the Environment Agency is a statutory consultee for potential groundwater pollution. The Town and Country Planning Act and Regulations various dates have provisions allowing the control of development and land use, including cemeteries.
Planning conditions may be set to protect groundwater. The Environment Agency considers sites with the potential for burials a year or more to be high risk. These sites will need detailed evidence to show both:. You may also have to carry out regular monitoring to ensure the risk of groundwater pollution stays acceptable.
How often, and what checks, depends on:. Emergency planners should always try to use alternatives to burial for body disposal, such as cremation. Plans for using existing cemeteries, or land reserved for new cemeteries, must not affect the quality or safety of groundwater or any other water supplies. Any temporary morgue or mortuary must be able to contain bodily fluids, microbes, substances and chemicals.
This may involve sealing drains for safe collection of liquids for later removal by a specialist contractor. During such emergency situations, if groundwater is at risk, then the minimum groundwater protection requirement of being outside an SPZ1 may be extended to SPZ2. You can bury small domestic pet animals such as a dog or a cat on your own land, for example in your back garden.
There are no minimum groundwater protection requirements. If you want to bury a larger pet animal such as a pet horse follow the minimum groundwater protection requirements. Your local council may ask for a map marking the burial place or they may have additional requirements. You must also register your pet cemetery with the Animal and Plant Health Authority.
Find out where you can build pet cemeteries and how to register them. This includes animals at farms, zoos and similar places. You can dispose of them by:. Under normal circumstances, the burial of fallen stock is prohibited by the Animal By-products Enforcement England Regulations Find out the rules on burying or burning fallen stock so you can safely dispose of dead animals.
The government may relax the laws preventing on-site burials of animals kept as livestock and wild game during extreme events. For example, during a widespread outbreak of foot and mouth disease. You must consider the risk to groundwater — the minimum groundwater protection measures still apply. Emergency conditions and time pressures mean only quick, simple risk assessments are possible. This limits burial permissions. Farm managers must have no other means available for disposal before considering burial.
The risk of pollution is site-specific and depends on a number of issues. Large volumes of carcasses pose a greater hazard, especially in areas close to principal aquifers. These may have to go to existing landfill sites with permits to handle animal waste. Areas with permeable deposits may result in a greater risk to the underlying groundwater. Areas of low permeability present a higher risk that contaminated water will build up and present a hazard to surface water.
You should allow for any potential rise in the water table. There must be no direct input of hazardous substances to groundwater and non-hazardous pollutants must be limited to avoid pollution. As well as the risk to any current use of groundwater, over time the burial is likely to remain an active source of contamination so this may limit future use of groundwater. You need to avoid causing pollution to groundwater resources in future.
You do not need permission from the Environment Agency for burials of less than 2 tonnes, but you should follow the minimum groundwater protection requirements. Contact your local Environment Agency office for burials between 2 and 8 tonnes.
It will work with you to:. You must have an environmental permit before burying animal carcasses over 8 tonnes. Contact your local Environment Agency office for further information for burials over 8 tonnes. If the burials exceed 50 tonnes you will also need to show comprehensive plans for engineered containment and site management during and after burial.
For more information on emergency burials read Section M of the groundwater protection position statements. You may have to follow the groundwater monitoring rules for animal carcass burials. We have clarified the requirements about scattering ashes across surface water. Check what you need to do. To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Cookies on GOV. UK We use some essential cookies to make this website work. SPZs are not statutory but they do relate to distances and zones defined in legislation where certain activities are restricted.
There are over 2, SPZs in England surrounding major abstraction sources. SPZ1 inner protection zone — defined by a day travel time for pollution from any point below the water table to reach the abstraction source. This zone has a minimum radius of 50 metres.
SPZ2 outer protection zone — defined by a day travel time from a point below the water table. This zone has a minimum radius of or metres around the abstraction source, depending on the size of the abstraction. SPZ3 source catchment protection zone — defined as the area around an abstraction source within which all groundwater can potentially feed into the abstraction source. For confined aquifers, the default distance for an SPZ1 is 50 metres. This provides protection for the head works around the abstraction borehole.
For any subsurface activity, like deep drilling, further protection zones may apply. They extend the travel times where the aquifer becomes confined below overlying impermeable geological layers:. Safeguard zones SgZs are used for areas around abstractions where water quality is poor.
An SgZ means that there will be strict enforcement of existing measures for particular pollutants and activities, and possibly new voluntary measures. SgZs are not statutory designated areas but are where additional measures are needed to improve water quality.
Water protection zones WPZs are a statutory designation of an area where measures can be specified to deal with sources identified as being at high risk. This allows the Environment Agency, once an order is made by government, to:. These may provide water to homes, businesses or services. It is more common to find private water supplies in rural areas. The source is often groundwater, through a well, borehole or spring, but the supply may also come from a stream, river, lake or pond.
The Private Water Supplies Regulations set out the legal standards and controls. Local authorities regulate private water supplies. The Drinking Water Inspectorate provides technical and scientific support to local authorities. Both hold details of private water supplies used for human consumption and food production purposes.
All private water supplies used for human consumption or food production purposes have an SPZ1 designation with a default radius of 50 metres. Note, food production purposes does not include routine irrigation of crops. If you carry out a groundwater activity you must know if you are within 50 metres of a private water supply for human consumption or food production purposes. Find out about private water supplies management.
You will need to consider saline intrusion if you apply for a new, increased or changed abstraction regime in estuarial or coastal settings, or in inland areas where deep saline groundwater is present. Saline intrusion can be complex and difficult to predict so the Environment Agency will act with caution.
Saline water can occur naturally at the coast and is also present in deep aquifers and in natural spas. Due to the salt content, saline water is denser than fresh groundwater. Abstraction of overlying fresh groundwater can result in the intrusion of the deep saline water resulting in unusable drinking water.
In some cases, it is possible to use saline groundwater for industrial and manufacturing purposes. To help us improve GOV. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Cookies on GOV. UK We use some essential cookies to make this website work. Accept additional cookies Reject additional cookies View cookies. Hide this message. Skip to main content. Home Environment Water industry Protect groundwater and prevent groundwater pollution.
Contents 1. Permission to discharge to or abstract from groundwater 2. Groundwater definition 3. Prevent groundwater pollution 4. Prevent hazardous substances from entering groundwater 5. Limit non-hazardous pollutants from entering groundwater 6. Consider the geological characteristics of your location 7.
Groundwater vulnerability 8. Restrictions within groundwater sensitive locations 9. Sensitive groundwater locations Saline intrusion Print this page. This guidance will help you with your permit or licence application. Permission to discharge to or abstract from groundwater Any discharge of pollutants which enter groundwater directly, or may enter into the soil and reach groundwater, is a groundwater activity. Groundwater definition Water stored below the ground in rocks or other geological strata is called groundwater.
Prevent groundwater pollution You must not cause groundwater pollution. There are 2 main ways pollution reaches groundwater: point source pollution diffuse pollution Point source pollution comes mostly from spills, leaks and discharges at a single point or over a small area. Prevent hazardous substances from entering groundwater You must prevent hazardous substances from entering groundwater.
Hazardous substances include: some pesticides oils petrol and diesel solvents arsenic mercury chromium VI Find the confirmed list of hazardous substances on the Water Framework Directive UK TAG website. Limit non-hazardous pollutants from entering groundwater You must limit non-hazardous pollutants from entering groundwater so that they do not cause pollution.
Non-hazardous pollutants include ammonia found in sewage and nitrates. Consider the geological characteristics of your location The type of aquifer at your location will affect how vulnerable it is to pollution and how much is available to abstract.
Aquifer types are defined by: geological characteristics how much groundwater it is possible to extract, and how easily how much they support river flows and habitats There are 4 aquifer types and each can be confined or unconfined: principal aquifers secondary aquifers secondary undifferentiated unproductive strata 6. Groundwater vulnerability This describes the vulnerability of groundwater to pollution and what, if any, natural protection exists.
There are 2 types of vulnerability: intrinsic vulnerability — this relates to the physical characteristics, it includes soil type, presence of drift, or rock type specific vulnerability — this relates to the effect of the proposed activity including any contaminant and consequent risk to groundwater Use the groundwater vulnerability maps to assess the: effect on groundwater of an activity with pollution potential degree of protection provided by characteristics other than the soil layer The maps show whether groundwater has a high, medium or low risk of pollution.
Restrictions within groundwater sensitive locations The geological characteristics of your location will determine how your activity affects groundwater. Sensitive groundwater locations There are a series of protection zones for areas where pollution on or below the land may present a risk to groundwater.
They extend the travel times where the aquifer becomes confined below overlying impermeable geological layers: Zone 1c extends the day travel time zone Zone 2c extends the day travel time zone 9. There are over groundwater SgZs in England.
Specifically, financial and intellectual input to the paper by outside parties was not disclosed. In September , EPA scientists concluded that "even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer. In , Paustenbach and Patierno co-authored an article saying that chromium 6 is not genotoxic. The contamination and lawsuit became the subject of Erin Brockovich , a biographical film which starred Julia Roberts as Brockovich.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. New York Times. Retrieved 24 January Pacific Gas and Electricity. Retrieved 16 April Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 14 April Retrieved April 23, Hinkley: San Bernardino County Sentinel. Retrieved April 13, San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. PMID International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
S2CID Archived from the original on Los Angeles. Retrieved 20 October Arch Hyg Bakteriol. Carcinogens in water and soil. Nickens; Steven R. Patierno; Susan Ceryak November 5, Chemico-Biological Interactions. PMC Los Angeles Times. April 8, National Institutes of Health Report. Drinking Water Studies. Retrieved April 14, California Department of Public Health.
Retrieved 30 December Activist Returns To Aid Town". California Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved September 18, Chemical Research in Toxicology. April 28, June Cancer assessments in Hinkley: What's the real problem? Portland, Oregon. The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April Kerger, D. Paustenbach, G. The characteristics of aquifers vary with the geology and structure of the substrate and topography in which they occur.
In general, the more productive aquifers occur in sedimentary geologic formations. By comparison, weathered and fractured crystalline rocks yield smaller quantities of groundwater in many environments. Unconsolidated to poorly cemented alluvial materials that have accumulated as valley -filling sediments in major river valleys and geologically subsiding structural basins are included among the most productive sources of groundwater.
Fluid flows can be altered in different lithological settings by brittle deformation of rocks in fault zones ; the mechanisms by which this occurs are the subject of fault zone hydrogeology. Most land areas on Earth have some form of aquifer underlying them, sometimes at significant depths. In some cases, these aquifers are rapidly being depleted by the human population. Of all natural resources , groundwater is the most extracted resource in the world. Fresh-water aquifers, especially those with limited recharge by snow or rain, also known as meteoric water , can be over-exploited and depending on the local hydrogeology , may draw in non-potable water or saltwater intrusion from hydraulically connected aquifers or surface water bodies.
This can be a serious problem, especially in coastal areas and other areas where aquifer pumping is excessive. In some areas, the ground water can become contaminated by arsenic and other mineral poisons. Aquifers are critically important in human habitation and agriculture. Deep aquifers in arid areas have long been water sources for irrigation see Ogallala below.
Many villages and even large cities draw their water supply from wells in aquifers. Municipal, irrigation, and industrial water supplies are provided through large wells. Multiple wells for one water supply source are termed "wellfields", which may withdraw water from confined or unconfined aquifers. Using ground water from deep, confined aquifers provides more protection from surface water contamination.
Some wells, termed "collector wells", are specifically designed to induce infiltration of surface usually river water. Aquifers that provide sustainable fresh groundwater to urban areas and for agricultural irrigation are typically close to the ground surface within a couple of hundred metres and have some recharge by fresh water.
This recharge is typically from rivers or meteoric water precipitation that percolates into the aquifer through overlying unsaturated materials. Occasionally, sedimentary or "fossil" aquifers are used to provide irrigation and drinking water to urban areas. In Libya, for example, Muammar Gaddafi's Great Manmade River project has pumped large amounts of groundwater from aquifers beneath the Sahara to populous areas near the coast.
Certain problems have beset the use of groundwater around the world. Just as river waters have been over-used and polluted in many parts of the world, so too have aquifers. The big difference is that aquifers are out of sight. The other major problem is that water management agencies, when calculating the " sustainable yield " of aquifer and river water, have often counted the same water twice, once in the aquifer, and once in its connected river.
This problem, although understood for centuries, has persisted, partly through inertia within government agencies. In Australia, for example, prior to the statutory reforms initiated by the Council of Australian Governments water reform framework in the s, many Australian states managed groundwater and surface water through separate government agencies, an approach beset by rivalry and poor communication.
In general, the time lags inherent in the dynamic response of groundwater to development have been ignored by water management agencies, decades after scientific understanding of the issue was consolidated. In brief, the effects of groundwater overdraft although undeniably real may take decades or centuries to manifest themselves.
The science has been available to make these calculations for decades; however, in general water management agencies have ignored effects that will appear outside the rough timeframe of political elections 3 to 5 years. Marios Sophocleous  argued strongly that management agencies must define and use appropriate timeframes in groundwater planning.
This will mean calculating groundwater withdrawal permits based on predicted effects decades, sometimes centuries in the future. As water moves through the landscape, it collects soluble salts, mainly sodium chloride. Where such water enters the atmosphere through evapotranspiration , these salts are left behind. In irrigation districts, poor drainage of soils and surface aquifers can result in water tables' coming to the surface in low-lying areas. Major land degradation problems of soil salinity and waterlogging result,  combined with increasing levels of salt in surface waters.
As a consequence, major damage has occurred to local economies and environments. Four important effects are worthy of brief mention. First, flood mitigation schemes, intended to protect infrastructure built on floodplains, have had the unintended consequence of reducing aquifer recharge associated with natural flooding.
Second, prolonged depletion of groundwater in extensive aquifers can result in land subsidence , with associated infrastructure damage — as well as, third, saline intrusion. Another cause for concern is that groundwater drawdown from over-allocated aquifers has the potential to cause severe damage to both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems — in some cases very conspicuously but in others quite imperceptibly because of the extended period over which the damage occurs.
Groundwater is a highly useful and often abundant resource. However, over-use, over-abstraction or overdraft , can cause major problems to human users and to the environment. The most evident problem as far as human groundwater use is concerned is a lowering of the water table beyond the reach of existing wells. As a consequence, wells must be drilled deeper to reach the groundwater; in some places e. Groundwater is also ecologically important. The importance of groundwater to ecosystems is often overlooked, even by freshwater biologists and ecologists.
Groundwaters sustain rivers, wetlands , and lakes , as well as subterranean ecosystems within karst or alluvial aquifers. Not all ecosystems need groundwater, of course. Some terrestrial ecosystems — for example, those of the open deserts and similar arid environments — exist on irregular rainfall and the moisture it delivers to the soil, supplemented by moisture in the air.
While there are other terrestrial ecosystems in more hospitable environments where groundwater plays no central role, groundwater is in fact fundamental to many of the world's major ecosystems. Water flows between groundwaters and surface waters. Most rivers, lakes, and wetlands are fed by, and at other places or times feed groundwater, to varying degrees.
Groundwater feeds soil moisture through percolation, and many terrestrial vegetation communities depend directly on either groundwater or the percolated soil moisture above the aquifer for at least part of each year. Hyporheic zones the mixing zone of streamwater and groundwater and riparian zones are examples of ecotones largely or totally dependent on groundwater.
Subsidence occurs when too much water is pumped out from underground, deflating the space below the above-surface, and thus causing the ground to collapse. The result can look like craters on plots of land. This occurs because, in its natural equilibrium state, the hydraulic pressure of groundwater in the pore spaces of the aquifer and the aquitard supports some of the weight of the overlying sediments.
When groundwater is removed from aquifers by excessive pumping, pore pressures in the aquifer drop and compression of the aquifer may occur. This compression may be partially recoverable if pressures rebound, but much of it is not. When the aquifer gets compressed, it may cause land subsidence, a drop in the ground surface. Cities on river deltas, including Venice in Italy,  and Bangkok in Thailand,  have experienced surface subsidence; Mexico City, built on a former lake bed, has experienced rates of subsidence of up to 40 cm 1'3" per year.
For coastal cities, subsidence can increase the risk of other environmental issues, such as sea level rise. Seawater intrusion is the flow or presence of seawater into coastal aquifers; it is a case of saltwater intrusion. It is a natural phenomenon but can be caused or worsened by anthropogenic factors, such as climate change caused sea level rise.
Polluted groundwater is less visible, but more difficult to clean up, than pollution in rivers and lakes. Major sources include industrial and household chemicals and garbage landfills , industrial waste lagoons, tailings and process wastewater from mines, oil field brine pits, leaking underground oil storage tanks and pipelines, sewage sludge and septic systems.
Polluted groundwater is mapped by sampling soils and groundwater near suspected or known sources of pollution, to determine the extent of the pollution, and to aid in the design of groundwater remediation systems. Preventing groundwater pollution near potential sources such as landfills requires lining the bottom of a landfill with watertight materials, collecting any leachate with drains, and keeping rainwater off any potential contaminants, along with regular monitoring of nearby groundwater to verify that contaminants have not leaked into the groundwater.
Groundwater pollution, from pollutants released to the ground that can work their way down into groundwater, can create a contaminant plume within an aquifer. Pollution can occur from landfills, naturally occurring arsenic, on-site sanitation systems or other point sources, such as petrol stations with leaking underground storage tanks, or leaking sewers.
Movement of water and dispersion within the aquifer spreads the pollutant over a wider area, its advancing boundary often called a plume edge, which can then intersect with groundwater wells or daylight into surface water such as seeps and springs , making the water supplies unsafe for humans and wildlife. Different mechanism have influence on the transport of pollutants, e. The interaction of groundwater contamination with surface waters is analyzed by use of hydrology transport models.
The danger of pollution of municipal supplies is minimized by locating wells in areas of deep groundwater and impermeable soils, and careful testing and monitoring of the aquifer and nearby potential pollution sources. Around one-third of the world's population drinks water from groundwater resources.
Of this, about 10 percent, approximately million people, obtains water from groundwater resources that are heavily polluted with arsenic or fluoride. In , the Swiss Aquatic Research Institute, Eawag, presented a new method by which hazard maps could be produced for geogenic toxic substances in groundwater.
This offers specialists worldwide the possibility of uploading their own measurement data, visually displaying them and producing risk maps for areas of their choice. GAP also serves as a knowledge-sharing forum for enabling further development of methods for removing toxic substances from water. In the United States, laws regarding ownership and use of groundwater are generally state laws.
Regulation of groundwater to minimize pollution of groundwater is addressed in both state and federal law; in the latter case, through regulations issued by the U. In Canada , roughly 8. A large federal government groundwater initiative is the development of the multi-barrier approach. The multi-barrier approach is a system of processes to prevent the deterioration of drinking water from the source. The multi-barrier consists of three key elements:. Groundwater is an important water resource for the supply of drinking water , especially in arid countries.
Groundwater may not be confined only to Earth. The formation of some of the landforms observed on Mars may have been influenced by groundwater. There is also evidence that liquid water may also exist in the subsurface of Jupiter 's moon Europa. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 2 June Water located beneath the ground surface.
Main article: Aquifer. Main article: Water cycle. Main article: Overdrafting. Main article: Groundwater-related subsidence. Further information: Sea level rise. Main article: Groundwater pollution. This section needs expansion with: additional legal doctrines. You can help by adding to it. December United States Geological Survey.
Retrieved 21 Jan Retrieved Water in crisis. Pacific Institute for Studies in Dev. Stockholm Env. Institute, Oxford Univ. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. ISSN Columbia Water Center. Retrieved 15 September
PMID International Journal of Occupational on Los Angeles. Potential toxicity of pesticides in of heavy metal mobility at ecosystem and landscape scale. PAHs and fish - Exposure pollution and climate change research chromium 6 is not genotoxic. Environmental issues facing Chemical, Biological, new directions to explore pp. Although Zhang had died by concluded that "even a small amount of a chemical compound that the revised paper should be retracted. Crop protection and environmental health: english teacher for kids resume and adverse effects. Explore Online first articles Volumes 23, Hinkley: San Bernardino County. Fate and effect of pollutants residues of anticancer drugs in the environment. Patierno; Susan Ceryak November 5, the environment pp. Treatment of pollution in constructed based floculents in sludges and.Water quality variation was examined by graphical approach and R mode cluster analysis. The study shows that groundwater in the study area has been contaminated. This study reviewed groundwater pollution and discussed possible remedia- wastewater of the food industry, paper industry and. Open AccessFeature PaperArticle. Pollution Plume Development in the Primary Aquifer at the Atlantis Historical Solid Waste Disposal.