Surface water is any water body confined to channels or lake catchments. Groundwater is water located beneath the earth’s surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. It may also be the source of public water schemes and private water supplies. Approximately 20-25% of our drinking water is abstracted from groundwater sources and consequently its protection is vital. During certain weather conditions, there is interaction between ground and surface water.
By its nature, ground water, once contaminated, is difficult to remediate and therefore pollution prevention and the application of the precautionary principle is the most advised course of action.
A particular risk to groundwater sources is contamination by leakage into the water table of pollutants from industrial sites, fuel storage tanks, septic systems, land fill sites, farmyards, land-spreading of manures.