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    Author(s): Roger Rowell
    Date: 2004
    Source: McGraw-Hill yearbook of science and technology, 2004. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2004: pages 372-373
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (312 KB)


    For 1.5 to 2.5 billion people in the world, lack of clean water is a critical issue. It is estimated that by the year 2025 there will be an additional 2.5 billion people who will live in regions already lacking sufficient clean water. In the United States today, it is estimated that 90% of citizens live within 10 mi of a body of contaminated water. Large numbers of point (single, identifiable) and nonpoint sources having low flow volume [50 gal (190 L) per minute or less] contribute significantly to these water contamination problems. These sites pose a major unsolved problem because they also can be intermittent, reducing the cost effectiveness of many current mitigation technologies. The northeastern United States–-with its large population, concentrated residential areas, industrial sites, livestock confinement operations, and the like-has many such sites where low volume-flow water runoff and discharges need to be treated. In addition, it is estimated that there are approximately 500,000 abandoned hard-rock mine sites in the United States, many of them located in or near watersheds where acid mine drainage may release heavy metals into thousands of public drinking water systems.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Rowell, Roger. 2004. Water decontamination. McGraw-Hill yearbook of science and technology, 2004. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2004: pages 372-373


    Water quality, water pollutants, decontamination

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