Water pollution causes a lot of problems for humans, animals and the environment. Pollution levels are on the rise again despite stricter laws and regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
One of the recent water pollution issues affecting Americans is the closing of beaches as a result of polluted beaches and beach water. All across the United States many beaches on the oceans, bays and the Great Lakes were closed due to pollution being washed onto the beaches from neighboring cities and towns in the form of sewage, debris and other pollutants.
Sewage spills and overflows nearly tripled in occurrence in recent years and many closings were blamed on sewage. Because of the recent water pollution issues regarding beaches, a Beach Protection Act was recently passed in the United States House of Representatives and is awaiting action in the Senate. This bill would increase federal funds for the purpose of detecting sources of beach water pollution and cleaning them up.
People can do their part in keeping the beaches and beach water clean by not littering, picking up trash and wastes, maintaining their septic systems, cleaning up after their pets, putting plastic pants on babies and properly disposing of toxic household items as well as used motor oil and boating wastes.
Another one of the very important recent water pollution issues affecting the quality of water comes from giant livestock farms and feedlot. These farms house hundreds of thousands of animals such as pigs, cattle, and chickens in relatively small areas and produce a huge amount of waste.
Pollution that results from these massive feed lots seriously affects the health of humans as well as fish and the ecosystems around the farms. One of the recent water pollution issues in regards to the giant feedlots revolves around the huge amounts of nitrates that are dumped into the groundwater. High levels of nitrates in the drinking waters has a devastating effect on humans and leads to an increase in methemoglobinemia, also-called blue baby syndrome, which can kill infants.
Animal wastes also contain disease causing pathogens. This is a very one of the most serious recent water pollution issues that we face as a nation.
Another very serious one of the recent water pollution issues is the aging sewer system that leak sewage and wastes into the ground waters. It is estimated that every year enough sewage is leaked into the water systems around the world to fill the Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden.
In some counties in the United States sewers discharge untreated sewage into creek, rivers and lakes where children swim and play. Treatment plants are not able to keep up with the flow of sewage and more than one billion gallons of sewage gets discharged into the environment as a result.
Rain water also causes the sewers to overflow and sends them right into nearby rivers and streams affecting drinking water as damaging health to humans and animals alike.