Episodes - Lessons
Environmental Impacts of Sand Mining

Their secret to using a thousand times more fresh water every day than they pump from the ground is based on the 3 R's of sustainability that you've likely learned from some of our previous videos and lessons. Remember? They are: 1)Reuse, 2)Reduce, 3)Recycle.

Though this sand mine employs all three R's in their process, recycling is the biggie. And boy is it BIG. Just watch the video to get a sense of the massive water filtration and recycling plant that uses several very cool technological phases to turn thick, muddy soup into water that looks clean enough to drink. No joke.

Even with their recycling system, they still needed to perform a "hydrologic study" to determine that their intended water demands wouldn't adversely affect the water table - you know, the ground water in the aquifer that the area depends on for their fresh water supplies. In rural areas, such as this, most residents get their water from personal water wells on their property. It makes sense that an industry can't simply come in a pump all the water they want without regard for the impact on the local aquifer.  To learn more about hydrologic studies and ground water, dive into the classroom learning offered in our free lesson plans below.

Also, click on the Learn More tab below to discover some of the parts of a "mine reclamation plan" and how it affects the landscape and ecosystems.