Water, a universal solvent that is essential and prime to the needs of all living species. Critically, advancement and development have not only increased the usability of water but also affected it negatively. The natural sources of water such as rivers, lakes, oceans, seas, is now polluted with toxic chemicals, plastic waste, and other harmful substances.
The drowning of toxic chemicals and substances not only makes water polluted but also affects the life of marine species. In fact, water beneath the earth is toxic and adversely affects flora habitats over the planet.
Before we explore on what are the causes of water pollution and preventive measures to control it, let’s know what exactly water pollution is.
What do we mean with term, “water pollution”?
When water gets intoxicated or mixed with any harmful substance such as waste, chemicals, micro-organism, it is known as water pollution. In simple terms, the water contamination with hazardous material is water pollution.
This contamination can be seen in rivers, lakes, even in oceans that actually affect the marine world, both flora, and fauna. However, it also influences the entire environment directly or indirectly with dangerous outcomes.
What are the causes of water pollution?
Indeed, everything happening over the planet has its own story of causes, so it is with water pollution. Water pollution has rapidly increased within a few years, as growth in technology and development in the urban world is a significant drawback. Below are some significantly highlighted causes of water pollution.
- Industrial waste.
- Improper development and management of sewage and wastewater.
- Mining operations and activities.
- Accidental oil leakage in seas and oceans.
- Buring of fossil fuels.
- Inadequate use of chemicals, toxic fertilizer, and pesticides.
- Improper disposal of radio active materials.
- Leakage in landfills.
- Underground storage leakage while transmitting through pipes.
- Soil erosion or deforestation.
The overview on categories of water pollution
Do you know that there are hidden lakes, rivers, and water streams beneath the earth’s surface? These mysterious water sources; filled with rainwater that steeps through the cracks and porous on land. However, known as groundwater in general terms.
In fact, cities and rural areas that are far across the land water sources are dependable on the groundwater table to survive. But today the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has polluted the underground water.
Furthermore, the cause of the decrease in the groundwater table; also occurred due to more development and urbanization. It more challenging almost impossible to aquifer the groundwater from harmful contaminants to make it safe for use.
Water covers 70% of the earth, as it is present in oceans, rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes. Thus, the use is possibly more than that of groundwater, which even increases the risk of water pollution. The latest survey; done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claim that almost half of the freshwater rivers and streams are polluted. It even affirms that one-third of lakes (natural or human-made); contaminated with toxic substances.
Precisely harmful for swimming, drinking, even for fishing. The waste runoff directly to the streams and rivers by humans is the leading cause of pollution in water. The collective junks, industrial wastes, mining, etc. have made water sources nothing less than the dumping area.
Ocean and sea water
The leading cause of marine pollution arises from land only, which is nearby the oceans or far across. Dumping of chemicals, plastic waste, heavy metals from cities, farms, and industries; carried to a bin near rivers and seas.
This casual disposal measure pollutes our bays and oceans. In fact, the wind is also a promoter to marine pollution, as it blows lightweight plastics. The accident oil leakage or spills adversely affect water and even the life of marine species.
Other sources of water pollution
The single source of water toxication or contamination; known as Point Source Pollution. For instance, affluent or wastewater discharged into clean water. This is done legally and even illegally by industries or manufacturers.
The dumping and discharging of wastes materials, toxic chemicals, etc. as multi-pule sources, called Non-Point Source Pollution. This kind of water pollution is undefined and unidentified.
When polluted water crosses the border of one country and contaminates another region, this referred to as Transboundary Pollution. Mostly this condition happens with natural disasters or accidental leakages. It includes oil spills, industrial wastewater run, agricultural dispose of, and municipal discharge.
Effects of water pollution
Pollution is always harmful to the environment, whether it is related to air, land, and water. The adverse effects of water pollution are crucially negative on the entire living ecosystem.
Effects on humans
Consumption of water by humans for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing, and daily chores is more. Thus, the risk of water pollution is more. Do you know, most of the world population consume polluted or contaminated water, which increases the chance of infections with water-borne diseases. Commonly found diseases are typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, etc. caused by bacterias, protozoa, micro-organism, algae, viruses.
In fact, the homes and residential area near commercial locations where industries are more, have more chances of water contamination. The effects of using that polluted water with chemicals and toxic substances are even more dangerous.
Effects on animals
Water pollution is indeed unhealthy for fauna as it harms their natural habitat. Drinking and bathing of animals in polluted water leads to many ill-will effects on their health internally and externally as well. Water pollution not only affects animals living on land but also in water. Most of the aquatic birds even found dead due to plastic waste in water and even on glaciers.
Effects on ecosystem
The unfavourable effects of water on flora and overall ecosystem is genuinely harmful. The damage done due to water pollution is, however, more critical for the future of the planet. Chemicals and toxic substances mixed in underground or surface water lead to destructiveness.
Prevention and considerable measures to control water pollution
- The prime is to reduce the consumption of plastic; however, it is almost not possible. Yet we can avoid it to some extent.
- Proper disposal of plastic wastes in the recycle bin, can also help.
- Ideal and planned discharge of industrial chemicals, heavy metals, oil, and non-biodegradable substance.
- Avoid the use of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides can also prevent water pollution.
- Use of recycling plastic and environment-friendly products also enable to lower the risk of water pollution.
- The invention of bio-degradable plastic is even more conventional for the planet’s future.