Water pollution is a major predicament that is facing the modern world. Water is a natural resource that is needed to sustain life in this planet. Without water, everything on the planet including plants and animals would die.
Water pollution can be described as the contamination of water sources by pollutants hence making water harmful to the environment. There are many ways that water is polluted and this causes devastating effects.
However, we need to learn how to control water pollution so as to preserve this precious resource.
How is water polluted?
Water pollution occurs when a pollutant gets into the water bodies. Pollutants include the substances or foreign materials that are harmful to the environment. Some of these pollutants are added into the water directly while others are added into the water indirectly through other methods like through the soil or through acid rain. When a pollutant gets into the water, it makes the water toxic hence causing death of humans, animals and plants that use the water. Other pollutants also form a coating on the surface of water and they make it hard for water to get to the aquatic and marine life below. Other pollutants like garbage can also chock the marine animals and plants or choke the animals that drink the water.
Causes of water pollution
- Dumping into the rivers and other water bodes is a cause of water pollution since the waste dumped in the water can cause harm to marine and aquatic life.
- Directing sewage to the water bodies also causes water pollutions as it makes water contaminated for human use and it may also cause the death of aquatic life.
- Directing industrial waste into water bodies also contaminates the water ad makes it toxic and harmful to people, plants and animals.
- Oil spills also pollute the water and makes it harmful to the environment. Oil spills are caused by ship and other vessels in the sea.
- Mining also causes water pollution as minerals may sometimes be carried into the water bodies by wind or rain water. Some of these minerals are harmful and toxic.
- Agricultural activities are also a cause of water pollution. Fertilizers and pesticides may be carried by rain water into the water bodies thus contaminating water.
- Acid rain also makes the water harmful to the environment. Acid rain occurs as a result of air pollution.
Sources of water pollution
- Direct sources of water pollution includes when pollutants are added into the water bodies directly. This may be factory and industry waste that is directed into rivers or oil spills that happen in the sea.
- Indirect sources of water pollution include the pollutants that are not added into water directly but rather arise from the soil and ground filtrations or through rain water.
Examples of water pollution
- Human trash that is thrown or carried by rain water and wind into the water bodies.
- Pesticides and fertilizers in the soil being swept away by rain water and taken to water bodies.
- Chemical and industrial waste being directed into water sources.
- When a ship in the sea spills oil into the sea.
- Hospitals throwing medicine, syringes and other waste into water sources.
- Washing clothes near water bodies or poring detergents into water bodies.
Effects of water pollution
- Water pollution causes the death of marine plants and animals. This is because pollutants may prevent air from getting into the water or the water could be too toxic thus causing death.
- Water pollution also causes human diseases. When human beings intake contaminated water, they may end up getting various water borne diseases.
- Water pollutions through mining activities increases the levels of mercury in the water. Mercury is very harmful when it is consumed through water.
- Water pollution causes an increase in the algae found in water. This causes lack of enough oxygen for marine animals hence causing their death.
- When one swims in contaminated water, it can cause skin problems like rashes or cancer.
- Water pollution also causes flooding since the waste materials accumulate in the streams that go into water bodies making it hard for water to flow freely.
- Water pollution causes a disturbance to the ecosystem as some marine animals may decide to move to other areas where the water is fresh.
How to control water pollution
- Water pollution can be controlled by farmers changing into sustainable farming activities where they use less fertilizers and pesticides.
- Shifting to using reusable items like bags will also reduce the levels of waste dumped into the rivers.
- The government should also set laws that curb industries from duping their waste into water bodies.
- Water pollution can also be controlled by having clean up days where people can come together to pick up the plastics and waste that accumulates on water bodies.
- People can also control water pollution by reducing deforestation since trees help in reducing soil erosion that carries waste into water bodies.
- Water pollution can be controlled by restricting farming and human activities in riparian lands which are the lands that are close to the water bodies.
Water pollution has very many devastating effects to the environment. We all contribute to water pollution whether knowingly or unknowingly. It is important to have days where everyone can take part in cleaning the water bodies. This is to not only protect the marine life but to reduce the chances of getting water borne diseases.