Alum Treatment of Lakes and bodies of Water. Safe or an Environmental Nightmare?
Most people do not realize that when lakes are treated with alum what is being done is depositing large amounts of man made aluminum into our environment. Some believe its does not impact the environment because aluminum is everywhere and is in everything. Well that does not make it safe in excess. In this case the aluminum is introduced to our lakes in a caustic and unnatural form.
Alum or Aluminum Sulphate is a class D material. It is considered a toxin and considered to be an environmental hazard.
The alum is introduced into the lake to fight harmful, but natural bacteria. But where does the alum go? The alum does not just disappear does it?
Aluminum is used to coagulate the floating debris in water and it does the exact same thing when it enters the blood system of a human.
Once the aluminum is introduced into the Eco system it travels from plant to animal through the food chain, right back to humans.
Alum in water treatment
Aluminum is safely used in water purification but is used under controlled situations and the toxic aluminum is removed after settling. Except in one horrifying incident where over 20,000 residents were poisoned when their water system was over treated with Alum. It was called the "Camelford water pollution incident" of 1988.
Where does the Aluminum Sulphate Go?
After a lake is treated using alum the lake clouds up and then miraculously clears up. Magic? No not at all. The alum grabs the debris and falls to the bottom where it stays. Forever?
No not forever. Fish swimming, wind blowing, people swimming and boats churn up the lake distributing the aluminum into the sediment, into the water again and into people and animals.
Alum treatments do work in some situations. It normally works well on deep bodies of water where the water column extends for some distance and in deeper water there is no chance of the contaminants being stirred up. In a lake with a depth of 6' the alum could easily be churned up and spread about by boats, weather conditions and swimmers.