Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blog 3: Arsenic Contamination Threatens Water in Hanoi

            Arsenic-Laden sediment that has been washed down from the Himalayas a very long time ago that goes as far as to reach stretches of Asia, from Pakistan to China.  When this sediment makes its way down to aquifers (happened in Bangladesh) it can contaminate the public water supply causing illness and sometimes-even death. Researches have now figured out that arsenic is getting into the major drinking water aquifer that Hanoi, Vietnam gets their drinking water from. They think that the reason why the drinking water is poisoned is because someone is pumping from private wells, which is draining the aquifer and drawing out water from others that contain the poison arsenic. The poison is moving very slowly but the city of Hanoi will take years or even decades to protect their waters. For the arsenic poison to leak into the aquifers it depends on the balance of iron and decaying plant material around and in the aquifer. This chemical process with the decaying plant material and iron is only partly understood, but iron seems to bind to this arsenic poison, whiles carbon in the decaying plants will dissolve the iron slowly, and then release arsenic poison flows into the aquifer. Vietnamese officials say that the arsenic poison can be 10 to 50 times higher than levels considered safe for people to be able to drink the water. The city of Hanoi plans to make a filter plant even though most of the residents there are still relying on the private wells making matters even worse.
            Over 70% of our world is covered in water but only 31% of it is accessible drinking water so it makes sense that these countries are having trouble with their contaminated water. One thing that stuck our to me was the arsenic poison that was seeping through the aquifers to get to their waters because we never really hear about this happening. Since the country isn’t as developed as other countries they will have a very hard time solving this problem and will have to find their drinking water somewhere else or unfortunately get health problems from the water and have serious diseases and get sick. We as Americans are very blessed to have fresh water available to us at all times and as a team we need to help these other countries to give them the things they need to live each and everyday since water is an essential need.

Kaley Stapleton
September 25, 2013

No comments: