Saturday 16 June 2018

Water Pollution

    Water pollution is defined as the presence in groundwater of toxic chemicals and biological agents that exceed what is naturally found in the water and may pose a threat to human health and the environment. Additionally, water pollution may consist of chemicals introduced into the water bodies as a result of various human activities. Any amount of those chemicals pollutes the water, regardless of the harm they may pose to human health and the environment.


There are several classes of water pollutants.

  •  The first are disease-causing agents such as  bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms that enter sewage systems and untreated waste.
  • A second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes; wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are converting these wastes it can deplete oxygen levels in the water. 
  • A third class of water pollutants is water-soluble inorganic pollutants, such as acids, salts and toxic metals. Large quantities of these compounds will make water unfit to drink and will cause the death of aquatic life.
  • Another class of water pollutants are nutrients; they are water-soluble nitrates and phosphates that cause excessive growth of algae and other water plants, which deplete the water's oxygen supply. 
  • A very dangerous category is suspended sediment, because it causes depletion in the water's light absorption and the particles spread dangerous compounds such as pesticides through the water.  

Causes of Water Pollution

  •   Industrial waste: Industries produce huge amount of waste which contains toxic chemicals and pollutants such as lead, mercury, sulphur, asbestos, nitrates and many other harmful chemicals. Industries do not have proper waste management system and drain the waste in the fresh water which goes into rivers, canals and later in to sea. These toxic chemicals are capable of changing the water’s colour, increase the amount of minerals and pose serious hazard to water organisms.

  • Oil Spills: Oil spill pose a huge concern as large amount of oil enters into the sea and does not dissolve with water and therefore forms a thick layer on the water surface. These oil spills create problems for local marine life such as fish, birds and sea otters.

  •  Burning of Fossils Fuels: Fossils fuels like coal and oil when burnt produce substantial amount of ash in the atmosphere. These particles fuse with water vapor resulting in acid rain which harms aquatic life. Carbon dioxide is released from the burning of the fossil fuels which leads to global warming. 

  • Marine Dumping: Sewage let off from domestic households, factories, commercial buildings are untreated in water treatment plants yet are disposed into the sea. Sewage containing flush chemicals and pharmaceuticals causes greater problems.

  • Mining activities: Mining is the process of crushing the rock and extracting coal and other minerals from underground. These elements when extracted in the raw form contains harmful chemicals and increase the amount of toxic elements when mixed with water which may result in health problems. Mining activities emit several metal waste and sulphides from the rocks and is harmful for the water.

  • Proper Disposal of Household Products: When it comes time to dispose unwanted paints, used oil, old cleaning solvents, furniture polish, pool chemicals, and other common household products, avoid discarding them down the sink, drains, or toilet. These items contain harmful substances, including sodium hypochlorite, petroleum distillates, ammonia, and formaldehyde. When they end up in nearby waters, everyone suffers.

  • Preventing soil erosion: To prevent water from getting polluted, soil erosion should cease and soil conversation should be managed. The planting of more trees will stop soil erosion. Methods which can cultivate the soil and improve the health of the environment must be adapted and followed. 

  • Promote the Clean Water Act: The Clean Water Act was created to set standards in controlling water pollution. Over the years, various laws have led to modifications in the act, but states are expected to follow government-set rules and regulations regarding the protection of the water supply used by local humans, wildlife, plants, and aquatic life.

  •  Most industries directly flow their waste everywhere and reaches rivers through rain water. To prevent water pollution from industrial wastes, it is necessary that these wastes should be properly disposed. Some industries follow this rule, and they either destroy the remaining material, or re-use it safely. 

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