Water Pollution

Every day, we are exposed to a wide range of chemicals and pollutions in our environment. But rarely do we think of the presence of these in what we drink and in the world’s water. The water in which we swim, fish live in, and the air we breathe are contaminated with a variety of pollutants, and it is a global problem. In the United States alone, there are over 100,000 industrial facilities that release pollutants into the water, thereby contaminating it. We have reached the point where it is a struggle for humans to live. This is not to say that pollution is a new phenomenon. Pollution has been around for centuries. The difference is that it has been magnified and it has become more than just an environmental issue; it is a public health issue.

In addition to the pollution created by industrial facilities, the water that we drink is also contaminated by agricultural run-off, household run-off, and other contaminants. Groundwater and surface water are contaminated with nitrates, pesticides, and fertilizers. The water is also contaminated by the pollution created by everyday human activities, such as waste and sewage.

The most common use of water is to drink it, but it is also used for washing and cooking. The water that we drink is about 80% of the Earth’s surface water. Other than the water that we drink, our water resources are also used for making electricity, and irrigating crops.

Water pollution is a global problem. It is important to recognize this and take action to protect our water resources. One way to help is to decrease the use of chemicals in households, wastewater, and agriculture. It is also important to make the communities aware of the problem and work together to take action.

Water pollution impact on ecology

  1. The discharge of untreated or partially treated sewage, industrial discharges, agricultural runoff, and air pollutants into water bodies.
  2. Contributes to the deterioration of water quality and the ecology of the receiving water.
  3. Causes the eutrophication of water, which will lead to an environment with a surplus of nutrients.
  4. Increases the risk of infectious diseases among humans.
  5. Reduces the amount of water available for other uses.
  6. Increases the risk of waterborne diseases.
  7. Disrupts the aquatic food chain.
  8. Causes the death of aquatic organisms such as fish and shellfish.
  9. Causes the death of aerial organisms such as aquatic birds.
  10. Disrupts natural water cycles.
  11. Can contribute to the degradation of recreational areas.
  12. Leads to the degradation of human health.
  13. Disrupts the natural beauty of the aquatic environment.
  14. Causes damage to the environment.

Water pollution facts

  1. The world’s oceans may be more acidic than at any time in the last 300 million years.
  2. Acidification is caused by the oceans’ absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as a result of human activities.
  3. It is estimated that the oceans will have absorbed more than 2,000 billion tons of carbon dioxide by the end of the century.
  4. An estimated 25 percent of the carbon dioxide entering the oceans is absorbed by seawater and chemically transformed into carbonic acid.
  5. The oceans acidification process is about 30 percent more rapid than at any time in the last 65 million years.
  6. It is estimated that the oceans’ acidity will increase by at least 170 percent by the year 2100.
  7. It is estimated that by the year 2100, 99 percent of the world’s coral reefs will be damaged by ocean acidification.
  8. The Antarctic’s Southern Ocean will be acidified by about 17 percent by the end of the century.
  9. The Arctic’s pH will drop from 8.2 to 7.7 by the year 2100.
  10. The Arctic’s acidification is caused by a combination of melting sea ice and ocean absorption of greenhouse gases.

How water pollution affects the Earth and its inhabitants?

Water pollution affects the earth and its inhabitants by interfering with the natural water cycle. For instance, one of the most serious effects of water pollution is that it can lead to a shortage of potable water. Pollution can also cause ecological disasters, such as the 1997 discovery of New Zealand’s worst toxic spill near a river, which led to the deaths of thousands of fish and other aquatic life. Water pollution can also lead to a wide array of health risks in both humans and animals. The main culprits of water pollution are chemical and solid waste. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the amount of chemical waste that enters the water supply each year is enough to fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools. It is clear that water pollution is a serious problem, but if the proper precautions are taken to prevent water pollution, it can be easily avoided.

Water pollution can also cause ecological disasters, such as the 1997 discovery of New Zealand’s worst toxic spill near a river, which led to the deaths of thousands of fish and other aquatic life.

What are the effects of water pollution?

Water pollution can have a significant negative impact on the environment. A majority of water pollution originates from either agricultural or industrial activities. Agricultural activities are the primary source of water pollution, but industrial activities are rapidly catching up. Agricultural pollution is caused by both manmade and natural causes. Manmade sources of pollution include the following:

  • Livestock waste is a significant contributor to water pollution.
  • Chemicals used in agricultural production.
  • Toxic substances are used in pest control.
  • Inadequate storage of waste.
  • Inadequate disposal of waste.
  • Natural sources of water pollution include the following:
  • Runoff from rain and snow.
  • Storm-water drainage.
  • Leakage from storage ponds and lagoons.
  • Agricultural runoff.

The EPA has compiled a list of all the documented cases of water pollution. The source of water pollution is indicated in the table below.

Source of Water Pollution Percentage of Cases Water pollution from industrial and municipal sources 21.3% Runoff from urban areas and storm sewers 24.2% Pollution from livestock and poultry 8.9% Agricultural runoff 18.0% Leakage from storage ponds and lagoons 7.6% Other sources 8.6%.

Causes of Water Pollution

Water pollution is mostly caused by humans, who release many toxic chemicals into the environment each day through the process of industrialization. Industrialization has contributed greatly to water pollution because factories and manufacturing plants release harmful chemicals and compounds into the environment.

Pollution by humans also occurs by way of household waste. Canned goods, plastic bottles, disposable diapers and other materials are the most common household items that are thrown away and end up in the water supply.

Storm runoff and sewage are two of the most common causes of water pollution. Runoff from rain or snow, especially in urban areas, contributes to the pollution of lakes and streams. Pollution of the water supply from sewage is more common in rural areas but is still not uncommon in cities.

Chemicals from the soil can be found in the water supply. Any pesticides or herbicides that are sprayed on crops, or that are used to maintain lawns, will run off into the ground water and eventually be released into the water supply.

Fertilizers also contribute to pollution of the water supply. Fertilizers are used by farmers to increase crop yield. In large quantities, fertilizers are harmful to the environment, and can end up in the water supply.

Categories of Water Pollution

1. Chemical Pollution

Chemical pollution is caused by the presence of large quantities of toxic chemicals, such as heavy metals, in water.

One example of chemical pollution is the contamination of water by heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium. These contaminants leach into soil and groundwater and are carried in water to lakes and rivers. Lead was used for a long time as an additive in gasoline. These days, lead is being phased out of gasoline, although it is still present in small amounts in the environment. When it enters the environment, it can be deposited onto soil and plants, and also into water.

Oil spills can also cause chemical pollution. In addition, industry is a large source of chemical pollution, since many companies use toxic chemicals that pollute the air and water.

Sewage, or wastewater, can also cause chemical pollution. For example, the use of chlorine in the water supply, or in swimming pools and other areas, can cause the formation of dangerous compounds.

One of the most widespread forms of chemical pollution is the presence of toxic substances in household products. Many products, such as paints, cleaning products, garden products and pesticides, can be extremely toxic.

2. Thermal Pollution

Thermal pollution is caused by the increase in the temperature of water.

Some thermal pollution comes from industrial sources, such as the heating of water in power plants. Thermal pollution can also be caused by the heating or cooling of water in industrial processes. For example, industrial plants that use water to cool equipment, such as steel mills and cement factories, can increase the temperature of water in nearby rivers.

3. Biological Pollution

Biological pollution is caused by the presence of harmful biological agents in a body of water. These include bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and plants and animals. Some of this pollution is also caused by human interaction. This interaction can be either direct, as in the case of introducing foreign organisms into the water, or indirect, as in the case of introducing chemicals into the water that then kill off native plants and animals.

4. Physical pollution

Physical pollution is made up of solid particles or dissolved chemicals that are present in a body of water. These particles include soil, silt, sand, grit, and salt.

Some examples of physical pollution of water are the discharge of sewage, runoff from agricultural activity, and waste from mining activity.

How to prevent water pollution?

Water pollution is a major issue in the world today. It is estimated that a total of 1.4 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water. There are many activities that can be done to reduce water pollution.

One way to reduce water pollution is to conserve water. This can be done by using water faucets, toilets, and sinks that are designed to save water. Doing so will use less water and will not produce as much wastewater.

We can prevent water pollution by simply not polluting our water. If we stop dumping trash into the ocean or cutting down trees, for example, the water will not be polluted. The key is to stop polluting our water sources.

Another way to help prevent water pollution is to recycle our trash. Recycling means that you break down trash into its original materials and use it again. Recycling paper, metal, glass, and plastic means that you are reusing it instead of throwing it away as trash.

We can prevent water pollution by simply not polluting our water. If we stop dumping trash into the ocean or cutting down trees, for example, the water will not be polluted. The key is to stop polluting our water sources.

Another way to help prevent water pollution is to recycle our trash. Recycling means that you break down trash into its original materials and use it again. Recycling paper, metal, glass, and plastic means that you are reusing it instead of throwing it away as trash.

What can I do?

Did you know that 80% of the world is covered in water? You can help keep our water clean by not littering. When you see trash in any water source, pick it up and throw it away. You can also join a group working to keep our water clean. Some groups have done things like clean up streams, throw away trash, and even repair broken pumps.

Another way that you can help keep our water clean is to recycle all the trash you can. When you recycle, you are making sure that people do not just throw their trash in the water. Recycling also means that you are reusing materials that would otherwise have to be made out of new materials, which takes extra energy and pollutes more. For more information on recycling, check out Green Your World.

There are many other ways to help keep our water clean. One of the best ways is to teach others about the importance of keeping our water clean. When people learn about the importance of keeping our water clean, they are more likely to do it. You can share your ideas with your friends, family, and teachers. You can also write a letter to your local newspaper to help spread the word.

One of the best ways to prevent water pollution is to use less water. This can be done by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and watering lawns less often. Incorporating a rain barrel into your garden is a great way to utilize water. Another way to prevent water pollution is to dispose of your trash properly. This includes making sure to wash out food containers before tossing them out.