Any change or modification in the physical, chemical and biological properties of water that will have a detrimental consequence on living things is water pollution. Types of water pollution Water comes from many sources. This means they can be polluted in many scenarios. Let’s see a few types of water pollution: 1 . Nutrients Pollution Some wastewater, fertilizers and sewage contain high levels of nutrients. If they end up in water bodies, they encourage algae and weed growth in the water. This will make the water undrinkable, and even clog filters.
Too much algae will also use up all the oxygen in the water, and other water organisms n the water will die out of oxygen from starvation. 2. Surface water pollution Surface water includes natural water found on the earth ‘s surface, like rivers, lakes, lagoons and oceans. Any kind of activity that pollutes these surface waters can be called surface water pollution. 3. Oxygen Depleting Water bodies have micro-organisms. These include aerobic and anaerobic organisms. When to much biodegradable matter (things that easily decay) end up in water, it encourages more microorganism growth, and they use up more oxygen in the water.
If oxygen is depleted, aerobic organisms die, and anaerobic organism grow more to produce harmful toxins such as ammonia and sulfides. 4. Ground water pollution When humans apply pesticides and chemicals to soils, they are washed deep into the ground by rain water. This gets to underground water. This means when we dig wells and bore holes to get water from underground, it needs to be checked for ground water pollution. 5. Microbiological In many communities in the world, people drink untreated water (straight from a river or stream).
Sometimes there is natural pollution caused by microorganisms like viruses, bacteria and protozoa. This natural pollution can cause fishes and other water life to die. They can also cause serious illness to humans who drink from such waters. This is called microbiological pollution. 6. Suspended Matter Some pollutants (substances, particles and chemicals) do not easily dissolve in water. This kind of material is called particulate matter. Some suspended pollutants later settle under the water body. This can harm and even kill aquatic life that live at the floor of water bodies. . Chemical Water Pollution Many industries and farmers work with chemicals that end up in water. These include chemicals that are used to control weeds, insects and pests. Metals and solvents from industries can pollute water bodies. These are poisonous to many forms of aquatic life and may slow their development, make them infertile and kill them. 8. Oil Spillage Oil spills usually have only a localized affect on wildlife but can spread for miles. The oil can cause the death of many fish and stick to the feathers of seabirds causing them to lose the ability to fly.
Do you remember the BP Oil spill in 2010? Over 1 ,OHO animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead, including many already on the endangered pieces list. Of the animals affected by the spill that are still alive only about 6% have been reported cleaned, but many biologists and other scientists predict they will die too from the stress caused by the pollution. Causes of water pollution. Industrial waste Industries cause huge water pollution with their activities. These come mainly from: Sulfur – This is a non-metallic substance that is harmful for marine life.
Asbestos – This pollutant cancer-causing properties. When inhaled, it can cause illnesses such as asbestosis and many types of cancer. Lead and Mecums – These are metallic elements and can cause environmental and health problems for humans and animals. It is even more poisonous. It is usually very hard to clean it up from the environment once it get into it because it in non-biodegradable. Nitrates & phosphates- These are found in fertilizers, are are often washed from the soils to nearby water bodies. They can cause transportation, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
Oils -? Oils forms a thick layer on the water surface because they do not dissolve in water. This can stop marine plants receiving enough light for photosynthesis. It is also harmful for fish and marine birds. A classic example is the BP oil spill in 2012 with killed thousands of animals species. Sewage and waste water Everyday, we cook, do laundry, flush the toilet, wash our cars, shower and do many things that use water. Think about how we use water in schools, hospitals and public places. Where do you think all the water, liquid waste, toilet and urine ends up?
In many developed communities, all this water and soluble waste (called sewage) is treated, cleaned and dumped into the sea. Even though they are treated, they are never the same as fresh water. Click low to see how sewage is treated: In some UN-developed countries, the sewage is not treated, but quickly dumped into the sea or water bodies. This is VERY dangerous because they contaminate the environment and water bodies and bring many deadly diseases to us. Septic Tanks Every domestic (home) toilet is connected to septic tank usually located outside the house.
Each time poop is flushed down the toilet, it goes into this tank, where the solid part is separated from the liquid part. Biological processes are used to break down the solids and the liquid is usually drained out into a land drainage system. From this stage, it can escape into the soil and nearly water bodies. Ocean and marine dumping Again, think of the rubbish we all make each day. Paper waste, food waste, plastic, rubber, metallic and aluminum waste. In some countries, there are deposited into the sea. All these waste types take time to decompose.
Example, it is know that paper takes about 6 weeks, aluminum takes about 200 years and glass takes even more. When these end up in the sea, they harm sea animals and cause a lot of deaths Oil Pollution Routine shipping, run-offs and dumping of oils on the ocean surfaces happen everyday. Oil spills make up about 12% of the oil that enters the ocean. Oil spills cause major problems, and can be extremely harmful to local marine wildlife such as fish, birds and sea Otters and other aquatic life. Because Oil does not dissolve, it stays on the water surface and suffocates fish.
Oil also gets caught in the feathers of sea birds stopping them from flying. Some animals die as a result. Underground storage and tube leakages. Many liquid products (petroleum products) are stored in metal and steel tubes underground. Other sewage systems run in underground tubes. Overtime, they rust and begin to leak. Fifths happens, they contaminate the soils and the liquids in them end up in many nearby water bodies. Atmospheric Atmospheric deposition is the pollution of water bodies caused by air pollution.
Each time the air is polluted with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, they mix with water particles in the air and form a toxic substance. This falls as acid rain to the ground, and gets washed into water bodies. The result is that, water bodies also gets contaminated and this affects animals and water organisms. Effects of water pollution. You will notice in the previous pages that water pollution is very harmful to unmans, animals and water life. The effects can be catastrophic, depending on the kind of chemicals, concentrations of the pollutants and where there are polluted.
Below, we shall see a summary of the effects of water pollution. (Make sure you see the facets page for some very unfortunate incidents of water pollution in recent time) The effects of water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are dumped and in what locations. Many water bodies near urban areas (cities and towns) are highly polluted. This is the result of both garbage dumped by individuals and dangerous Heimlich legally or illegally dumped by manufacturing industries, health centers, schools and market places.
Death of aquatic (water) animals The main problem caused by water pollution is that it kills life that depends on these water bodies. Dead fish, crabs, birds and sea gulls, dolphins, and many other animals often wind up on beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitat (living environment). Disruption of food-chains Pollution disrupts the natural food chain as well. Pollutants such as lead and cadmium are eaten by tiny animals. Later, these animals are consumed by sis and shellfish, and the food chain continues to be disrupted at all higher levels. Diseases Eventually, humans are affected by this process as well.
People can get diseases such as hepatitis by eating seafood that has been poisoned. In many poor nations, there is always outbreak of cholera and diseases as a result of poor drinking water treatment from contaminated waters. Destruction of ecosystems Ecosystems (the interaction of living things in a place, depending on each other for life) can be severely changed or destroyed by water pollution. Many areas are now being affected by careless human pollution, and this pollution s coming back to hurt humans in many ways Prevention of water pollution.
Dealing with water pollution is something that everyone (including governments and local councils) needs to get involved with. Here are a few things you can do to help. Learning about the issue (like you are doing) is the greatest and most important step to take. Here are a few more: You can help Never throw rubbish away anyhow. Always look for the correct waste bin. If there is none around, please take it home and put it in your trash can. This includes places like the beach, riverside and water bodies-Learn more about asset disposal here. Use water wisely.
Do not keep the tap running when not in use. Also, you can reduce the amount of water you use in washing and bathing. If we all do this, we can significantly prevent water shortages and reduces the amount of dirty water that needs treatment. Do not throw chemicals, oils, paints and medicines down the sink drain, or the toilet. In many cities, your local environment office can help with the disposal of medicines and chemicals. Speak to them Buy more environmentally safe cleaning liquids for the use at home and other public places. They are less ungenerous to the environment.
If you use chemicals and pesticides for your gardens and farms, be mindful not to overuse pesticides and fertilizers. This will prevent runoffs of the material into nearby water sources. Start looking at options positioning and using organic manure instead. F you live close to a water body, try to plants lots of trees and flowers around your home, so that when it rains, chemicals from your home does not easily drain into the water. Governments, local councils and laws Many governments have very strict laws that help minimize Water pollution.