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#1 Pollutant (Wayne Peterson, Urban Conservationist)

Can the past provide the key to the future of water quality? Get Wayne Petersen's take on "green development."


The largest pollutant of our surface waters, river streams, ponds, wetlands in Iowa is sediment -- eroded sediment. So if you have a farm field that has been tilled up and you have barren exposed soil...if you have a construction site that's been disturbed and you have bare and exposed soil...rain falls...once again you exceed the capacity to absorb. Runoff begins. The rainfall will detach particles of soil. When runoff begins, it will carry these detached particles and somewhere downstream that detached particle of sediment will be deposited. Might be in a road ditch. Might be in a wetland. Might be in a river. That's one of our biggest pollutants.

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Explore More: Water Quality
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