Groundwater is a fundamental part of our ecosystem and we must do all we can to conserve it and mitigate pollutants from contaminating it. We’ve looked at 8 things your business can do to protect groundwater – but with the majority of Melbourne working at home, we need to start looking at what you can do in your new workspace that will mitigate groundwater pollution and give future groundwater assessment results a positive outcome.
Minimise pesticides and chemicals
No doubt many of you have chosen to work on your gardens during the quarantine periods. For some of you, it may have been your introduction into the gardening world which means you have a lot to learn about ethical and eco-friendly gardening methods. For instance, using a large number of artificial pesticides and chemicals to kill weeds and unwanted insects/pests can be quite harmful to the environment and groundwater in particular.
There are a couple of reasons as to why – the first of which is that through a process known as leaching, the chemicals can drain away through the soil and enter groundwater, contaminating them. The other reason is that if it rains, the rainwater will carry off the chemicals to surface water sources. If you need some alternative, natural solutions then you can check out our ultimate guide to natural weed killers.
Know your garbage
You should strive to always dispose of waste properly – especially since some items can very easily lead to groundwater contamination (amongst other environmental issues). Things such as paint, batteries and unused medicine, oil or petrol should be disposed of appropriately. Simply throwing these items out so they can end up in landfill is not good enough. Similarly, to pesticides, the chemicals and ingredients in items such as these can absorb into the soil and contaminate groundwater.
If you have hard rubbish to get rid of then put it out on your nature strip when you know the collection is as opposed to leaving the rubbish out on the soil. This is especially the case for any broken items that may have potentially hazardous materials or ingredients in them (which should not be dumped on the soil directly in the first place and should be in some sort of container etc.). If you’re unsure about how to dispose of potentially hazardous items, then consult your local council.
Be wise with water
This is a double-pronged approach as it also helps you save water as well as mitigating groundwater contamination. Make sure all your taps are securely off when you’re not using them – and when you are using them, consider if they need to be on the whole time. This is particularly important for things like hand-washing dishes or brushing your teeth. You should only have the water running when you’re directly using it and not in the lull period.
Try to limit showers to only five minutes if you can and if you must use the dishwasher or washing machine then ensure you’re washing full loads to get the most out of each wash. These simple steps can go a long way and are good sustainability tips to follow in general.
Be cautious with hobbies
If you like to paint/spray paint pieces of art outdoors or like to work on automobiles in your garage or on your driveway, then you should take extra caution. Oil or petrol spills can occur and once they’ve spilt there’s no way of effectively cleaning them up to the point where the contamination can be stopped. If you are performing maintenance on an automobile, try to place containers where you think spills may occur to stop them from impacting on your driveway or concrete surface.
The same rule applies for paint or any similar substance. If you have taken up such a hobby and decided to do it outside, then try to avoid spillage or unnecessary use. Be smart with where you spray paint so there’s no collateral.
Do you require a groundwater assessment?
There are little things you can do at home to minimise groundwater pollution and every bit counts – especially since a lot of us are spending our time at home. Alpha Environmental, however, are still out in the field performing a variety of environmental services such as groundwater assessments. A groundwater assessment is beneficial for several reasons and is one of the key components of a phase II environmental site assessment.
If you’d like to know more about our groundwater assessment services, then please don’t hesitate to contact us via the enquiry form on our site or by calling 1300 039 181.