Effects Of Gravel Extraction On Groundwater

Effects Of Gravel Extraction On Groundwater

This study is the only scientific investigation into the water chemistry changes that occur as a result of aggregate extraction. This is important for a few reasons.

Since we are told that aggregates has no effect on our water, this study disproves that opinion. In the absence of scientific study, all you have is opinion.

The Ontario government commissioned a study where they did an exhaustive internet search for any information regarding the effects of aggregate extraction on water. This report was not difficult to find so we have to question how thorough their search really was. Did they bother to look into the work that has been completed by other countries? If I had the resources to do this study, I would be looking at all countries regardless of language and have anything important translated.

The study shows increased levels of Nitrates however instead of scientifically identifying why they had this result, they step beck to opinion science and suggest that maybe someone dumped some fill on the site. Why? Because since aggregate operations do not add nitrates by bringing in and applying chemicals, it is assumed that the increase is not attributed to the aggregate operation. It has never been considered that they concentrate what is already existing in the land for starters. In true science, no question is left unmeasured or unanswered.

The absence of any research into the effects of aggregate operations on water supplies should be a telling tale all by itself. Considering the number of groups opposing aggregate pits, making the science available that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that their operations are safe on water supplies would put these allegations to rest once and for all. The only reason not to publish the science is because it will produce a negative result.

The study completed by Finland is in english. This information was submitted to the Ministry Of Environment for their consideration and they responded saying that the study was not available in English. Remember that the people who are responsible for the science of making sure our water is safe discounted this study by assuming it was not in English. Does this represent how they do their science?


Finland has released a study on the effects of gravel extraction on groundwater supplies. Within this report, it says that many heavy metals and easily degrading organic substances as well as viruses and bacteria are retained reletively well in the natural areas but retention was weaker in areas where the gravel had been exposed. They say “risk of groundwater contamination is
clearly higher at gravel extraction sites than in natural groundwater areas.” They aslo say that faecal coliform bacteria were observed more in gravel extraction areas as well as increased nitrates (although nitrates may be from fill or dumping of waste on the site). Other adverse effects were elevated concentrations of clorides due to the use of dust control salts. They recommend a protection layer of 4-6 meters and are pretty specific about the makeup of that
layer.

 

Finnish study effects of gravel extraction on groundwater. Click to open PDF.