An aquifer is a body of rock or sediment that holds groundwater.
Groundwater is water that sinks into the surface and is collected in empty spaces underground.
Groundwater is where we get most of our fresh water even though it makes up less than 2% of the water on Earth. An aquifer is what holds that water.
There are two general types of aquifers: confined and unconfined. Confined aquifers have a layer of impenetrable rock or clay above them, while unconfined aquifers lie below a permeable layer of soil.
Aquifers naturally filter groundwater by forcing it to pass through small pores and between sediments, which helps to remove substances from the water. This natural filtration process may not be enough to remove all of the contaminants.
Since aquifers cannot filter out all contaminants on it’s own it is important to be mindful when using pesticides, herbicides, septic tanks, and other chemicals that can seep into the ground if not properly handled.