Every two years, the European Minerals Day (EMD) gives the opportunity to the European-wide public to explore the world of minerals. Over one week-end, quarries and plants from the minerals sector all over Europe open their doors to schools, students, families, neighbours and all those interested to discover more about an industry that affects every aspect of our lives.
The Aggregates Industry positively interacts with river basin management plans ensuring that any impact on the water environment caused by the aggregates industry is limited. Indeed, the Aggregates Industry can provide flood storage capacity during times of high water levels and in most cases can be a positive contributor to water quality and biodiversity, thanks to a good management of the site. The Aggregates Industry has an important potential to have a positive contribution to water management.
Reducing the impact of human activity on the freshwater quality is an important topic at European level. Sulphate is a parameter to be taken into account in the derivation of threshold values by the member states when it is present in the groundwater body as the result of human activities. Based on results of a case study it is recommended that, if it is demonstrated that the sulphate is of natural origin only and it has been proved that no anthropogenic input occurs, threshold values for sulphate do not need to be established. Where sulphates result from both origins (natural and anthropogenic), deriving a threshold value remains mandatory as long as it represents a risk of failing good status. In this case, investigating on cations (ex. Cu++) could lead to a better understanding.