Water pollution occurs when harmful chemicals or microorganisms contaminate streams, lakes, rivers, and other water bodies. These chemicals and substances degrade water quality and make it toxic to humans and the environment.
In addition, water pollution can include energy release in heat or radioactive substances into water bodies. Most of the world’s wastewater is released chiefly back to the environment. This results in polluted lakes, rivers, and oceans. According to research, contaminated waters killed about 1.2 million people in 2017 alone.
Considering the seriousness of this matter, we’re providing important water pollution information, including how it happens and how to implement existing measures such as water testing, filtration, and wastewater treatment.
What To Know About Water Pollution
Water is the most effective solvent on earth, and that’s why it is so easily polluted. Toxic substances (e.g., fertilizers, sewage, and factory waste) readily dissolve into the water when they come in contact with it, which leads to water pollution.
Water pollution is categorized as follows:
Surface water is found in oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and the like. However, a large pool of that water is a hazard.
Over one-third of the lakes and almost half of rivers and streams are polluted and not healthy for drinking, swimming, and fishing. These freshwater sources are victims of nutrient pollution, such as phosphates and nitrates.
Industrial and municipal waste also release their share of pollutants into water sources. If you add what individual households contribute, it creates a pollution crisis that needs attention.
Point source pollution occurs when contamination comes from one source. Point source includes wastewater from leaking septic systems, oil spills, and unlawful dumping. While this kind of pollution comes from a particular place, it can pollute many miles of waterways and oceans.
Dispersed Source (Nonpoint)
A nonpoint source is pollution resulting from dispersed sources such as stormwater runoff, agricultural waste, or debris blown into water bodies from land. This type of water pollution is the leading cause of water pollution in the U.S. However, it’s tricky to control because there’s no identifiable perpetrator.
Groundwater might look clear as crystal because of natural filtration, which occurs as the water flows gradually through the soil layers. However, it can still be contaminated by dissolved chemicals such as glyphosate, bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Contaminants might come from poorly made or maintained subsurface disposal systems such as septic tanks, leaking underground oil storage tanks, or improperly lined industrial waste disposal.
Common Causes of Water Pollution
The most common water pollutants include:
- Domestic Sewage: Domestic sewage is the main cause of pathogens. Disease-causing microorganisms are excreted in feces. Therefore, all sewage is likely to have pathogens of some kind, which is a threat to the public.
- Agricultural Waste: Farmers use pesticides and chemicals. Rain mixes these up with water otherwise clean, creating excess pollution of other forms of water.
- Oil Pollution: Oil spills and leaks are a major cause of water pollution and are often caused by drilling accidents in the ocean or ships transporting oil.
Effects of Water Pollution
- Water pollution kills. The pathogens (disease-causing bacteria) and viruses from human waste are the leading causes of sickness from dirty drinking water.
- Water pollution can lead to an algal bloom which reduces the amount of oxygen in water, causing life-threatening consequences for aquatic animals.
- Industrial and municipal wastewater often contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals that harm aquatic life. They reduce their lifespan capability to reproduce.
How To Control Water Pollution
Now that you know the effects of water pollution, it’s essential to protect your household and surrounding water sources from any pollutants. One step toward these efforts is to ensure your water is properly filtered and treated before use and wastewater is managed correctly. At Royal Water Works, Inc., we’re experts in water testing, filtration, wastewater treatment, pH adjusting, pH balancing, and more. Contact us today at (828) 884-9537 or message us online to speak to an expert and ensure the water is up to standard.
Categorised in: Water Pollution