Water Pollution

<- Back to the pollution facts blog

Water Pollution

Water pollution is the presence of unwanted contaminants in water sources, either used for drinking by humans or used by animals as a habitat. Since water is the basis for all life on earth and is utterly essential to our survival as a species, any form of water pollution could have largely detrimental effects on our health. There are many direct and indirect sources of water pollution.

Consider these water pollution facts:

  • In 1975, according to the National Academy of Sciences, cargo ships and cruise liners dumped 14 billion pounds of garbage into the ocean.
  • Roughly 75% of empty plastic bottles are not recycled and end up in lakes, oceans, and streams as well as landfills.
  • 1 million birds and 100,000 sea mammals are killed yearly by marine litter.
  • About 40% of American water in rivers, streams, and estuaries is too dirty for fishing and swimming.
  • More pollution facts.
  • These are the main causes of water pollution:

    • Industrial and Household Waste

    Industries produce large amounts of waste which holds poisonous chemicals and

    water pollution
    Image by epSos.de

    pollutants. Many commercial enterprises don’t have proper waste management and the waste drains into our clean water, polluting it. Artificially treated sewage and waste water from family homes also contains destructive microscopic organisms which can cause diseases. Land pollution also affects the water because landfills will leak into our underground water supply, adding more contaminants.

    • Dumping into the oceans

    The garbage made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastic gets dumped into the oceans and accumulates, causing harm to wildlife. Oil leaking into the oceans causes the same problem. The currents of the oceans will cause these materials to accumulate in patches such as the Great Pacific garbage patch.

    • Farming and agriculture practices

    The fertilizers, pesticides used by farmers, and animal wastes from large production plants get washed away with the rain and leak into our rivers and waterways.

    The fossil fuels burned, which cause air pollution, also are a problem because they will go into the atmosphere and then come back down into our water in the form of acid rain.




    Why is Water Pollution bad?

    Drinking water is becoming a scarce resource, especially in developing countries. Water pollution is responsible for many deaths due to diseases and also causes deaths due to lack of clean drinking water. In addition, the marine wildlife is constantly threatened by all of the dumping practices which accumulate toxic chemicals within our oceans. Being such a basic necessity for all life on Earth, water pollution is a serious environmental issue.

    Ways we can combat water pollution

  • Using products which are safe for the environment
  • Water pollution can be reduced by using environmentally friendly products in our everyday lives. This includes just about anything which is dumped into the sink. An example is washing detergent which has harmful chemicals in it, or any liquids which are too acidic. There are special regulations in place for many companies to use such products but individuals can also be mindful of what kind of materials go down their drains. This isn’t limited only to things which go down the drain but can also include chemicals used in the yard of the presence of garbage in unregulated areas, all of which can cause harmful pollutants to seep into the soil, after which rain will carry these pollutants back to a water source. Therefore, widespread use of environmentally friendly chemicals in regular household practices would help reduce water pollution.

  • Conservation of water
  • The less water is used, the less water is contaminated. It’s that simple. Whenever we use from any nearby natural source, we are going to contaminate it in some way and then release it back into the environment less clean than it was before. Therefore not using more water than is necessary is essential.