What is sediment pollution?
Sediment pollution is sand, silt, and/or clay particles that are suspended in water which gives the water a dirty or murky appearance.
Why is sediment pollution a type of pollution?
Sediment pollution is a pollutant because pollution is defined as a matter that is released into the environment that causes undesirable impacts on the health and well-being of humans and other organisms. When sediment pollution is found within the environment, the sediment pollutant can impair and dramatically change aquatic ecosystems, resulting in many aquatic species to not being able to survive, which is a very undesirable impact on the well-being and health of these aquatic organisms.
What is the source of sediment pollution?
Sediment pollution’s source is from soil erosion or the decomposition of plant and/or animals. Sediment pollution can also come from many different human-involved activities such as mining projects, clear-cutting trees, housing development, poor cultivation practices, construction overall, etc, when these projects are not properly equipped and maintained with the correct materials to avoid from sediment pollution occurring and escaping these sites.
How is sediment pollution getting into our water supplies?
The sand, silt, and/or clay found in sediment pollution can be moved across land into various bodies of water through the movement of wind, water, and/or ice. For example, if there were an opening in an enclosed construction site, the sediment found in the soil on the site is washed out of the site and through the opening by wind, water, and/or ice, into a storm drain. This sediment pollution then eventually makes it’s way to a body of water, which is now contaminated with sediment pollution causing many undesirable effects to the surrounding ecosystem.
Are there any regulations (national or local) that regulate sediment pollution?
Sediment pollution is mentioned in the Clean Water Act under Stormwater Management. This mentions how uncontrolled stormwater discharges, which includes sediment pollution, pose serious and significant problems to the overall environment and human health. The Act requires various sites and facilities, such as construction sites, to have measures to ensure that this pollution does not enter into storm drains and eventually into different bodies of water.
What can you do, as the person hearing this story, to do to help or prevent from sediment pollution getting any worse?
What you can do to help prevent sediment pollution from getting any worse is by sweeping your driveways instead of washing them, which sediments found on your driveway eventually end up in different bodies of water. Not to mention, if you wash your car in your driveway, make sure to do so instead on a surface that could absorb the water like grass or gravel. Also, within your garden, you could put compost or weed-free mulch onto your soil to avoid the soil from washing away. Also, you could avoid mowing 10 to 25 feet near a river, creek, stream, or any other body of water. This will minimize erosion into that body of water and also naturally filter stormwater runoff that may contain sediment pollution.