Solutions for water pollution essay

According to P. Goel in his book Water Pollution — Causes, Effects Control, water is one of the most essential and valuable assets on earth 1. Humans, animals and plants all need water to survive. Besides drinking water, water is used for cooking, washing clothes and utensils, flushing toilets, irrigation of the fields, etc.

Unfortunately water is one of those natural resources that have been exploited by man to its most. Water pollution is a major problem and has a very bad impact on our ecosystem. My essay will elaborate upon sources and causes of water pollution, the effects of water pollution and how can water pollution be prevented and controlled. What is water pollution? According to Jennifer Stefanow in her book Polluted Waters, water that has been rendered as unsuitable or harmful for any use due to the presence of contaminants is polluted water 6.

Water becomes impure due to its contact with something unclean [ 2 ] 6. Many regions around the world lack clean water and this affects all living beings that include humans, animals, plants and organisms living in water. What are the sources of water pollution? Pollutants can enter the water sources either directly or indirectly. According to Michael Hogan sources of surface water pollution, based on their origin can be grouped into two categories, point source pollutants and non- point source pollutants [ 3 ].

Point source pollutants enter a water source directly. It can be carried through pipes and an example of point source pollutants includes discharge from a sewage treatment plant and industrial storm water from construction sites [ 3 ]. According to the reports of National Water Quality Inventory , nonpoint source pollution has a huge impact on the water quality of rivers and lakes [ 4 ]. Non-point source NPS pollutants enter the water source indirectly.

According to Michael Hogan , one of the sources of non-point source pollution is urban runoff which is the contaminated storm water washed off of parking lots and roads [ 3 ].

Another source is agricultural runoff and soil erosion runoff when rain falls over mud and landslides [ 3 ]. What are the causes of water pollution? Water pollution is caused when the pollutants are mixed with clean water.

Water pollution -- What are the causes of water pollution -- Video for kids

Human and natural causes are the two categories that cause water pollution. An article called Protecting Water Quality from Agriculture Runoff published in March , explains agricultural activity as one of the human causes of water pollution [ 4 ]. Agricultural runoff is nonpoint source pollution which happens when pesticides and other fertilizers sprayed on the crops, attached to the soil particles are washed off by the rainfall or excessive irrigation and leached into nearby lakes and rivers [ 4 ].


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Jennifer Stefanow in her book Polluted Waters explains industrial activity as another human cause of water pollution. Manufacturing industries and factories that do not treat their toxic waste and chemicals and discharge it in oceans and rivers contribute to water pollution [ 2 ].

Seven Simple Solutions for Water Pollution Prevention

An example of industrial waste from factories being dumped is in India into Ganges River. Jennifer Stefanow observes that Ganges River is also being polluted because of the hundreds of cremation that take place on the banks of the river, animals use the river as a toilet, also a lot of people who use it to cook and clean make it unclean [ 2 ]. Another human cause of water pollution is the domestic activity. Jennifer Stefanow explains how pesticides and other fertilizers used in the household gardens and the chemicals used in car cleaning that loosen the pollutants from the car surfaces, are washed off by rain into drains that are not connected to water treatment plants [ 2 ].

Thus the water flows directly into rivers or seas and pollutes the fresh water. The usage of laundry detergents, vehicle oil spills and litter not disposed in an appropriate way also get washed into drains [ 2 ].

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25 Amazing Ways to Prevent Water Pollution | Earth Eclipse

Another human cause of water pollution is the non-appropriate manner of disposal of feces of animals infected by organisms in their body, which comes in contact with the water used for drinking through washing off by rain. Another human cause of water pollution is the large quantities of untreated waste from the mining activity that washes off through the rains and flows in the oceans and seas nearby.

Another human cause of water pollution is the dumping of non-biodegradable products such as plastic containers, plastic bags, glass bottles, fishing net, etc into the water bodies [ 2 ]. These products float on the surface and get washed up on the shores and riverbanks. According to Jennifer Stefanow another human cause of water pollution is the leakage of oil or petroleum from the oil refineries, tankers, ships and industrial waste [ 2 ]. Oil also seeps naturally into the oceans from beneath the seabed. It is estimated that million gallons of oil is leaked each year into seas and oceans and 45 percent soaks into seabed [ 2 ] One of the natural causes of water pollution is volcanic eruptions.

According to Jennifer Stefanow explosive eruptions eject huge quantities of broken rock, fine ash, lava and dust particles [ 2 ] These toxic chemicals get washed down to the ground in rain and enter the oceans and rivers. Wind also transports the ash and the fine particles to the water supplies nearby, polluting the water. Volcanic eruptions emit large amounts of gases that includes sulphur dioxide which returns to ground in form of acid rain resulting in water pollution [ 2 ] Harmful effects of acid rain will be discussed later in the effects of water pollution.

Also the decomposition of the organic matter pollutes the water by releasing nutrients into it. Sometimes heavy metals, found naturally in the ground, also get washed into oceans and rivers due to the heavy rain falls.

Soil Conservation Can Reduce Water Pollution

Arsenic metal, found in large quantities in Bangladesh was washed by a lot of floods the country faces and was leached into thousands of well [ 6 ]. This led to an increase in diseases such as cancer and other illnesses. Jennifer Stefanow observes that heavy metals like lead and mercury are toxic substances and if not disposed properly can dissolve in water in the form of industrial waste [ 2 ]. Metals dissolved in water cause metal poisoning when the water or the seafood that has been affected by metals is consumed.

25 Amazing Ways to Prevent Water Pollution

Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoan and invertebrates like worms are biological pollutants [ 7 ]. A chemical spill can seep directly into the ground, polluting the water below. But more often than not, groundwater becomes polluted when non-point sources of contamination such as agricultural runoff or prescription medications find their way into the water within the Earth. If you do not live near water, you may not think that you are affected by pollution of the world's waters.

But water pollution affects every single living thing on this planet.

Water Pollution: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

From the tiniest plant to the largest mammal and yes, even humans in between, we all rely on water to survive. The water from your tap may be filtered by a water treatment facility before it gets to you, but ultimately it comes from either surface or groundwater sources. Fish that live in polluted waters become polluted themselves. Fishing is already restricted or prohibited in many of the world's waterways due to contaminants. When a waterway becomes polluted—either with trash or with toxins—it diminishes its capacity to support and sustain life.

By its very nature, water is a very fluid thing. It flows throughout the world without regard for borders or boundaries, crossing state lines and country borders alike. That means that pollution caused in one part of the world could affect a community in another. This makes it difficult to impose any one set standard on the ways we use and protect the world's water.


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  • There are a number of international laws that aim to prevent dangerous levels of water pollution. In the U. The best things that you can do to prevent water pollution are to educate yourself about the world's water supply and support conservation projects both locally and around the world. Learn about the choices that you make that affect the world water, from spilling gas at the station to spraying chemicals on your lawn and look for ways to reduce the number of chemicals you use each day.

    Sign up to help clean litter off of beaches or out of rivers and oceans. And support laws that make it harder for polluters to pollute—the Clean Water Act in particular has often come under political attack.

    What is water pollution?

    Water is the world's most vital resource. It belongs to all of us and it is up to everyone to do their part to protect it. Share Flipboard Email. Updated September 03, Every ocean and every continent, from the tropics to the once-pristine polar regions, is contaminated. Continue Reading. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience.