Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies. Water pollution is a major issue for many countries all over the world. The water that we drink, swim in, and use for other purposes is not always safe to use. Pollution can come from many sources, including factories, sewage treatment plants, and farms.
Polluted water can cause health problems. The health effects of water pollution depend on the type of pollutant and the length of exposure. It can lead to serious problems like waterborne diseases (such as diarrhea and cholera), cancer, or birth defects. Polluted water is a global problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
What are the Sources of Water Pollution?
Sources of water pollution can be natural or human. Natural sources include erosion, mineral deposits, and natural chemical reactions. Human sources are a result of sewage, agriculture, mining, and industry.
Water pollution is not just limited to the ground or surface water but also includes the tap water supplied by the municipal.
Sources of groundwater pollution are agriculture run-off and leaking septic systems.
Tap water pollution can be caused by chemicals that are added to the water to kill bacteria such as chlorine or copper sulfate.
The most common pollutant in water include:
- Agricultural runoff
- Industrial waste or discharge
- Radioactive waste
- Chlorine by product
Agricultural run-off happens when farmers use pesticides or animal manure in their fields and then the runoff carries these chemicals into nearby streams and rivers. These chemicals can be harmful to humans and animals as well as plants that live in these areas.
Agricultural runoff containing fertilizers or pesticides can lead to algal blooms which deplete oxygen levels in the water and kill fish or other aquatic life.
One of the sources is industrial pollution, which can come from factories that produce chemicals or other substances. These factories release their waste into the water, which can cause serious health issues for people who drink or bathe in it. This can also happen when companies dispose of untreated waste in rivers and streams.
Industrial activities like mining or oil drilling can also lead to water pollution through the release of heavy metals or chemicals into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Sewage waste includes things like dishwater, laundry water, bathwater, or anything else that goes down your drain or toilet.
Wastewater flows back into the waterways without being treated or reused.
Household wastewater contains a number of pollutants that may include pathogens from sewage, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals.
Radioactive waste is produced by uranium mining, nuclear power plants, the development and testing of military weapons, as well as by academic institutions and healthcare facilities that use radioactive materials in their research and treatment plans.
Chlorine by product
The most common pollutant in municipal water is chlorine. It is a chemical compound that is used to kill harmful bacteria, algae, and other microbes in drinking water. It can react with organic matter in water to form chlorinated hydrocarbons like chloroform and trihalomethanes (THMs). These chemicals have been shown to cause cancer and other health problems if they are consumed at high levels over time.