Causes of Water Pollution

Water is a very important source which is required by all living beings on the planet. Over two-third of earth, the surface is covered by the water whereas less than one third is covered by land. But the pollution of water causes a lot of distress for the living beings on this planet.  Clean water is mandatory for life when water gets polluted it becomes unhealthy for everyone. Water pollution has affected the lives of animals, plants, and even humans, as all of us are greatly dependent on it. Water pollution is major contamination of water bodies like lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.  This is caused when the pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into the water bodies. Water Pollution occurs when chemicals, waste, or other particles cause the body of water to be harmful to everybody. Causes of water pollution can be differentiated into 2 categories are as follows.

  1. Natural Causes 

  2. Human Causes

Natural Causes 

1. Volcanoes

With large eruptions, volcanoes tend to change the climate for years. Volcanic eruptions spew out not just lava and ash but also gases. Indeed it’s these gases trapped under molten under great pressure in the molten rock give eruption its explosive power. For the climate, the key gas is Sulpher dioxide. Once this gets into the Stratosphere, Sulpher dioxide from the volcano mingles with water forming tiny sulfate particles. The effects of ashfall from the volcano on natural waters have thereby lead to an increase in Turbidity, which is the ash suspended in the water. When there is a volcanic eruption its ashes trave a great distance and when in contact with the vegetables, surface water and, soils and groundwater it will contaminate it with metals like cadmium, arsenic, and copper and non-metal contaminants like fluorine. These will eventually enter the food chain, the process which takes please for this is called Bioaccumulation. The contamination level increases as these travel up the food chain that can poison the livestock and the humans. Theis Bioaccumulation in later stages will lead to cancer and may even result in the skeleton damage. 

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2. Animal Waste

The animal waste that comes out from the dairy and the poultry farm adds to water pollution. We also observe feces and urine of birds and the mammals are found widely across the globe, these frequently contaminate the water that is been used for the various purpose by humans and even for the irrigation of the crops. The risk of such kind of contamination has a major impact on human health which is very poorly understood among all. Direct exposure of humans to this animal can lead to many health hazards. There are many treatments that are been implied currently to treat this animal waste in order to reduce the water pollution caused by it. Animal waste is also utilized as a source in many of the fertilizers. The disposal of a larger quantity of animal waste on the land, as it washed by rainwater leads to a large quantity of water degradation. The effects of animal are been calculated by using plots for their experiments and also simulating rainfall, to see how these even contribute as the samples of runoff water is been collected and analyzed. They have concluded that land utilization of animal waste for the purpose of fertilization contributes significantly to water pollution and the use of tilling 

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3. Algae

They are responsible for the production of all kinds of water bodies and are involved in water pollution in many ways. The introduction of the organic effluents by enrichment of algae nutrients in water will lead to significant growth in the algal species thereby affecting the quality of water and its use. The algae in water pollution can be toxic to humans, animals, and fish who are consuming polluted water. Algae play an important role in the food chain of aquatic life, hence if the type and the number of algae if been altered will affect the organisms in the food chain fish being included in it. Algaes have known to cause the taste and odor in water, a large number of algae are associated with this which are of different types. The Blue-green algae and particularly Chrysophyta and Euglenophyta are the once that cause such issues in the water supply. There are some algae that produce aromatic odor which is observed in some vegetables and flowers. In addition to this algae also produces odder of that of a fish and grass. Algae is said to be one of the best Bioindicators, that is used to identify the quality and effects of pollution in the ecosystem and how long such issues may persist. Algae are used as Bioindicators for the following reasons.

  1. They have a wide range of spatial and temporal distribution

  2. In several years we see many algal species

  3. Their response is quicker caused due to environmental pollution

  4. They are usually found in larger quantities as they diversified

  5. They are easily spotted and sampling is simpler

  6. The algal presence is correlated with some kind of pollution 

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4. Floods

Water moving in a high momentum causing a lot of destruction which is caring a lot of sediments and other materials are called the flood which becomes a major cause for water pollution. The flood moves unevenly in the geographical regions, this movement is also responsible for soil erosion. There will be many particles flowing in the flooded water witch inter mix itself with the river os the surface waters like rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans. In the end, these flooded particles will get deposited on the surface waters causing the pollution of water. Floods in its destructive movements pick up plant fertilizers, bodies, and other kinds of debris. The end result causes all of these contaminants to get mixed-up in the surface water causing water pollution. Flood also causes a huge loss in both life and prosperity, as it causes destruction in the path it takes. There is also a lot of loss of drinking water as well as it comes in contact with the contaminated waste. This cause a huge impact on the health of living beings. The contaminant that flows along with the floodwater is in very high volume are it courses over many landscapes caring all the waste in its path. 

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Human Causes

1. Chemicals

Both the industry and agriculture work requires the use of different kind of chemicals, which are later released into the water. Chemicals released by the smokestacks (Chimeny) enters the atmosphere and then fall back to the earth as rain. This enters seas, rivers, and lakes thereby causing water pollution which is called Atmospheric Deposition. On utilizing the fertilizers in the fields by the farmers, the chemicals used by them are thereby gradually carried away by rain into the groundwater or surface water nearby which leads to the contamination of the water. Detergents and many chemicals used in the manufacturing units also pollute the surface and groundwater. Another kind of toxic pollution comes from heavy metals such as lead, which is commonly used in gasoline, cadmium, and mercury which is commonly used in the batteries. Metals and solvents that out from the industries pollute the lakes and the rivers. Exposure to these substances for aquatic life is very poisonous, it might lower their development rate, making them infertile and even result in the death of many species. There are many different kinds of chemicals that are been pored into the rivers, these chemicals exhibit different effects based on the location and the kind of chemical that is been disposed of. Polluted water is the case for the spread of many diseases such as typhoid, cholera, encephalitis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis, skin infection, and gastrointestinal. It is being educated by the health departments to examine the water that we intake in order to maintain good health.

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2. Sewage

The term savage is used to describe water waste that contains feces, laundry waste, and urine. The disposal of sewage is a major issue that we wee in many countries as they lack proper sanitary conditions. Disposal of untreated sewage water would result in contamination of the air and water around it. Sewage treatment is usually carried out in the water treatment plants thereby disposing the waste over to the sea. We can say that sewage is biodegradable and can be broken down by the environmental conditions. It is estimated that more than 850 billion gallons of this vile brew escape the sea. This foul slurry pollutes the water bodies that are nearby after it comes out of the broken pipes and manholes. Some of it is pumped out, treated and piped back to homes and businesses from there it travels to sewer systems and the cycle repeats itself. Sewage disposal affects people’s immediate environment and this leads to water-related illnesses such as Diarrhea that kills 760000 Childers below 5 years every year. Whenever we flush the toilets it also travels somewhere and even after this is been treated there will always be some waste particles that need to be taken care of to be disposed of. There are themes when the sewage water which is untreated ends up in the sea. The sewage that comes out of the home undergoes 2 stages of treatment. Primary treatment comprises of sedimentation and dyeing of soils, which is further used as fertilizers. The secondary treatment comprises of the aeration of the liquid which is remaining, this is done, via a process of stirring, trickling over the fertilizers and spraying. The remaining organic matter is oxidized by aerobic bacteria.  

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3. Nutrients

Suitable treated and used in moderate quantities sewage can be a fertilizer. Chemical fertilizers used by the farmers also add nutrients to the soil, which drain into rivers and seas thereby adding to the fertilizing effect of the sewage. Together fertilizer and sewage can cause a massive increase in the growth in algae or planktons. This overwhelms huge areas in the oceans, lakes, or rivers. This is known as a Harmful Algal Bloom. 

4. Highway Runoff

A lot of toxic pollution also enters the wastewater from the highway runoff. Highways are typically covered with a cocktail of toxic chemical waste. This includes everything from spilled fuel, brake fluids, bits of worn tires, and exhaust emissions. When there is rain these chemicals get washed into drains and rivers.

High concentrations of metals are found in the soul close to 100 ft of the highway. The quality of water in highway runoff discharges could result in a significant increase in suspended sediment deposition. Sediment concentration which we see in the localized areas are much closer to the source. 

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5. Radioactive Waste

 The higher concentration of this can kill and in lower concentrations, it causes cancers and other illnesses. The biggest source of radioactive pollution can be seen in the places that factories where it reprocesses waste fuel from the nuclear power plant.  

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6. Oil 

Huge black oil slicks represent a tiny fraction of all the pollution that is entering the oceans. Only 12% of the oil that enters the ocean comes from tanker accidents and over 70% of oil pollution at the sea comes from routine shipping and from the oil that people pour down the drains on the land.    

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7. Plastic

This is the most common substance that washes away with the waves and this causes a major hazard to seabirds, fishes, and other marine creatures. This is observed as plastic fishing lines and other and other debris can strangle or choke fish. 

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Factors that Lead to Water Pollution?

Ans:  Water pollution occurs when harmful and toxic waste, chemicals, or other particles enter water bodies such as rivers, ponds, seas, oceans, and so on. This gets dissolved in them, lie suspended in water, or gets deposited on the water bed. Resulting in the degradation of the quality of water. 

2. What Harmful Effects do we Observe due to Water Pollution?

Ans: Water pollution not only does harm to the aquatic ecosystem system but the pollutants also reach the groundwater. This later will end up in our houses as contaminated water which we use in our daily activities that includes drinking. 

3. What are the Adverse Effects of Water Pollution?

Ans: When anyone who consumes this polluted water it will lead to diseases such as hepatitis which can be fatal. Also in many please we observe there is an outbreak of cholera and another kind of infection due to contaminated water. Another major factor is it kills organisms that depend on water bodies such as fish, crabs dolphins, and many other animals. All these species often wind up on the beaches killed by pollutants in their habitat. All these factors eventually damage the ecosystem threatening life on the earth.