A Guide to Water Pollution

Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing, such as animals or people who either drink the water, uses the water or lives in the water.

A Bottle Floating In The WaterContamination of the water supply is responsible for many serious illnesses and can cause harmful effects when it is consumed. Everyone who uses water has a responsibility to make sure that they do their part to prevent water pollution and protect the water supply so that it can be used the way it is intended to be used.

Water Pollution occurs when wastes and foreign matters end up in the water. It’s generally caused by many different sources such as sewage and wastes, industrial wastes, oil pollution, marine dumping, radioactive wastes, underground storage leaks, global warming, atmospheric deposition and eutrophication.

Pollution of our water can come from many different sources including surface pollution, groundwater, microbiological, chemicals, oxygen depleting and suspended matter. Most types of water pollution only affect the area directly around the pollutant. A larger pollutant, such as an oil spill, affects a broader area and causes a lot more water pollution.

Pollution is very dangerous to humans, animals and marine life. Some of the effects of water pollution may not be evident for many years. Industrial wastes can be particularly harmful to the water and the environment as they contain heavy metals that are toxic to fish and shellfish and humans when they eat those same fish and shellfish.

When an abundance of organic matter is dumped in to the water systems it causes a depletion of oxygen which results in fish and other aquatic creatures to suffocate.

Environmental damage to our water can also take a big toll on the economy because it is very expensive to treat and prevent contamination from water pollution. Wastes spread quickly through out the water supply and into the ocean. By using biological filter, chemical additives and sand filters as water treatments the damage can be prevented.

It is much cheaper to prevent water pollution from happening than to have to clean up after the pollution has already occurred, especially if a large area has been contaminated. The cost not only to humans but also to wild life and marine animals is huge when a water source is polluted.

Some ways that pollution can be prevented is by being careful about what is thrown down the sink and toilet and conserving water by turning the faucet off when not in use. It is also a good idea to use more environmentally friendly household and cleaning products to reduce the amount of chemical that are being dispensed into the groundwater and to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.