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Hazardous Material Spill (Grade 9)

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Hazardous Material Spill

Envision the following scenario:

It is a warm spring day. Ice no longer covers the ponds, the ground has thawed, and rivers are flowing rapidly with snowmelt from mountains. A tanker truck carrying a hazardous liquid material winds its way through a mountain pass near point F on the diagram below. The truck hits an unexpected frost heave and overturns onto the embankment on the side of the road, next to the river. Although no one was injured, the tank of the truck breaches, releasing its contents onto the ground and into the river.

Water Cycles


Write a paragraph describing the potential pathways of contamination from the spill based on the scenario and diagram and assuming the spill is not contained. You may draw arrows indicating flow on the diagram and reference letters already in place. Be sure to discuss which water bodies on the diagram may be affected, the order in which they would be contaminated, and the relative contaminate concentration in each water body. Determine whether this is an example of point source or nonpoint source pollution and defend your answer.

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