Major causes of Water Pollution

Water pollution is defined as the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, seas and oceans and groundwater which are caused by numerous activities by human beings. Water pollution is actually a major problem that the world is facing. You cannot deny that everyone uses water everyday. Everyone drinks, bathe, brush their teeth, wash their hands with water. If water is polluted, how could one carry out these activities?

According to researches done, water polutions is a leading cause of death killling at an average rate of 14000 people daily. Water pollution is a major problem in most developing and third world countries. However, in developed countries such as The States, water pollution is also a problem. In a recent report of the water quality in the United States, 45 percent of stream miles, 47 of lake acres and 32 percent of bay miles were classified as polluted.

There are 2 categories of water pollution, point source pollution and non-point source pollution. Point source pollution is contamination that enter a water source through pipes or drains. Examples are like pollutants that come from the sewage and industrial areas. Non-point source pollution is contamination that originates not from one single point source. Examples of non-point source pollutions are like sediment from construction sites, fertilizers from farms and metals from mines or vehicles.

From this 2 categories, we can take out the major causes of water pollution:

1) Radioactive waste and industrial waste from factories and nuclear plants are polluting the river at a very high rate. One can never find a country without a factory. Common released pollutants from factories are toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and oil. Lead and mercury can harm not only humans but also animals. One can actually die from lead or mercury poisoning if taken. Lead and mercury and non-biodegradable and is hard to clean up.

2) Oil leakage from oil tankers in the middle of the ocean is a devastating cause of pollution. It does not only spoil the quality of water but also effects the source of protein that we humans need. Oil spills take up 12 percent of the oil that enters the ocean. Oil cannot dissolve in water and therefore leaves a thick sludgy layer on the surface of the water. The layer on the surface of the water blocks the sun and oxygen from entering the water. It suffocates the marine animals and stop marine plants from carrying out photosynthesis.

3) Eutrophication. Fertilisers from crops and farms are washed into the rivers or lakes when rain falls. When the fertilisers enters the lake or river, it hasten the growth and reproduction of phytoplankton which results in algal blooms. Algae in the water uses up the oxygen in the water leaving none for the marine life leaving in that specific habitat. The algae also blocks the light and disrupts the photosynthesis process of marine plants. Some of this algaes even produce toxins that effects higher form of life and effect the food chain.

From this, we can conclude that water pollutions’ greatest cause is the human race. All the cause above are done by humans, non of them happens naturally. In the mere future, do we want to hear our children or grandchildren to say, “Why is the water green in colour, isn’t it suppose to be blue?” or “Why can’t we use water more often?”. We have to act before its too late.