Dealing with water pollution is something that everyone (including governments and local councils) needs to get involved with. Here are a few things you can do to help. Learning about the issue (like you are doing) is the greatest and most important step to take. Here are a few more:
You can help
Never throw rubbish away anyhow. Always look for the correct waste bin. If there is none around, please take it home and put it in your trash can. This includes places like the beach, riverside and water bodies. Learn more about waste disposal here.
Use water wisely. Do not keep the tap running when not in use. Also, you can reduce the amount of water you use in washing and bathing. If we all do this, we can significantly prevent water shortages and reduces the amount of dirty water that needs treatment. Read more
You will notice in the previous pages that water pollution is very harmful to humans, animals and water life. The effects can be catastrophic, depending on the kind of chemicals, concentrations of the pollutants and where there are polluted. Below, we shall see a summary of the effects of water pollution. (Make sure you see the factsheet page for some very unfortunate incidents of water pollution in recent time).
The effects of water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are dumped and in what locations.
Many water bodies near urban areas (cities and towns) are highly polluted. This is the result of both garbage dumped by individuals and dangerous chemicals legally or illegally dumped by manufacturing industries, health centers, schools and market places. Read more
Industries cause huge water pollution with their activities. These come mainly from:
Sulphur – This is a non-metallic substance that is harmful for marine life.
Asbestos – This pollutant has cancer-causing properties. When inhaled, it can cause illnesses such as asbestosis and many types of cancer.
Lead and Mecury – These are metallic elements and can cause environmental and health problems for humans and animals. It is even more poisonous. It is usually very hard to clean it up from the environment once it get into it because it in non-biodegradable.
Nitrates & Phosphates – These are found in fertilizers, are often washed from the soils to nearby water bodies. They can cause eutrophication, which can be very problematic to marine environments.
Oils – Oils forms a thick layer on the water surface because they do not dissolve in water. This can stop marine plants receiving enough light for photosynthesis. It is also harmful for fish and marine birds. A classic example is the BP oil spill in 2012 with killed thousands of animal species. Read more
There are many types of water pollution because water comes from many sources. Here are a few types of water pollution:
1. Nutrients Pollution
Some wastewater, fertilizers and sewage contain high levels of nutrients. If they end up in water bodies, they encourage algae and weed growth in the water. This will make the water undrinkable, and even clog filters. Too much algae will also use up all the oxygen in the water, and other water organisms in the water will die out of oxygen from starvation. Read more
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater), very often by human activities.
Water pollution occurs when pollutants (particles, chemicals or substances that make water contaminated) are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without enough treatment to get rid of harmful compounds. Pollutants get into water mainly by human causes or factors. Read more