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Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies


(e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater). Water pollution
occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water
bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.
Types of Water Pollutants
Nutrient pollution, a form of water pollution, refers to contamination by
excessive inputs of nutrients. t is a primary cause of
eutrophication of surface waters, in which excess nutrients,
usually nitrogen or phosphorus, stimulate algal growth. !ources of nutrient
pollution include runoff from farm fields and pastures, discharges
from septic tanks and feedlots, and emissions from combustion.
"icroorganisms that live in water feed on biodegradable substances. When
too much biodegradable material is added to water, the number
of microorganisms increase and use up the available oxygen. #his is called
$xygen depletion.When oxygen levels in the water are depleted, relatively
harmless aerobic microorganisms die and anaerobic microorganisms
begin to thrive. !ome anaerobic microorganisms are harmful to people,
animals and the environment, as they produce harmful toxins such
as ammonia and sulfides.
#he branch of biology that deals with microorganisms and their effects on
other living organisms.
chemical water pollution
ndustrial and agricultural work involves the use of many different
chemicals that can run%off into water and pollute it.
"etals and solvents from industrial work can pollute rivers and lakes.
#hese are poisonous to many forms of aquatic life and may slow their
development, make them infertile or even result in death.
&esticides are used in farming to control weeds, insects and fungi. 'un%
offs of these pesticides can cause water pollution and poison aquatic
life. !ubsequently, birds, humans and other animals may be poisoned if
they eat infected fish.
&etroleum is another form of chemical pollutant that usually
contaminates water through oil spills when a ship ruptures. $il spills
usually have only a localised affect on wildlife but can spread for miles.
#he oil can cause the death of many fish and stick to the feathers of
seabirds causing them to lose the ability to fly.
Effects Of water pollution on living things
#he effects of water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are
dumped and in what locations.
(oston )arbor is a strong example of how badly pollution can damage
bodies of water. #he water is filled with toxic waste and sewage, and
routinely receives more waste when rainfall pushes it into the harbor.
"any bodies of water near urban areas are highly polluted. #his is the
result of both garbage dumped by individuals and dangerous chemicals
legally or illegally dumped by industries.
#he main problem caused by water pollution is that it kills life that inhabits
water%based ecosystems. *ead fish, birds, dolphins, and many other
animals often wind up on beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitat.
&ollution disrupts the natural food chain as well. &ollutants such as lead
and cadmium are eaten by tiny animals. +ater, these animals are
consumed by fish and shellfish, and the food chain continues to be
disrupted at all higher levels.
,ventually, humans are affected by this process as well. &eople can get
diseases such as hepatitis by eating seafood that has been poisoned.
,cosystems can be severely changed or destroyed by water pollution.
"any areas are now being affected by careless human pollution, and this
pollution is coming back to hurt humans.
Ways to control water pollution
When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run
while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other
with rinse water.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and
sidewalk and save water every time.
When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the
water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub flls up.
Remember to check your sprinkler system valves
periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good
shape.
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while
you scrape them clean.
Wash your car on the lawn, and you'll water your lawn at
the same time.
Share water conservation tips with friends and neighbors.
When washing dishes by hand, fll the sink basin or a large
container and rinse when all of the dishes have been
soaped and scrubbed
Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up
or runs. Use this water to fush toilets or water plants.
Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
Water &urification
(oiling is by far the most reliable method (boiled vigorously for - minute
and allowed to cool to room temperature).
.hemical purifiers such as tincture of iodine
(/0 solution) can be used.
1 2dd 3 drops to - litre of clear water and
wait for 45 minutes before using.
1 6or very cold or cloudy water, add -5 drops to - litre of
water and wait for several hours before using.
1 #o remove the iodine taste and odor, add 35 mg of vitamin ., 45 minutes
after adding iodine.
"any types of portable water filters available,
with varying degrees of effectiveness, can be
used together with chemical purification.