What are the sources of water pollution?
What are the effects of water pollution?
What are the ways we can take to decrease those problem?
a)What are the sources of water pollution?
There are many causes for water pollution but two general categories
exist: direct and indirect contaminant sources.
Direct sources include
effluent outfalls from factories, refineries, waste treatment plants
etc.. that emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water
supplies. In the United States and other countries, these practices
are regulated, although this doesn't mean that pollutants can't be
found in these waters.
Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply
from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain water.
Soils and groundwaters contain the residue of human agricultural
practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc..) and improperly disposed
of industrial wastes. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived
from human practices (such as gaseous emissions from automobiles,
factories and even bakeries).
Source: Our Planet, Vol 8, No.3, 1996.
Contaminants can be broadly classified into organic, inorganic,
radioactive and acid/base. Examples from each class and their
potential sources are too numerous to discuss here.
b)What are the effects of water pollution?
The effects of water pollution are varied. They include poisonous
drinking water, poisionous food animals (due to these organisms having
bioaccumulated toxins from the environment over their life spans),
unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support
full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many
other effects. These effects are, of course, specific to the various
c)What are the ways we can take to decrease those problem?
Science provides many practical solutions to minimizing the present
level at which pollutants are introduced into the environment and
for remediating (cleaning up) past problems. All of these solutions
with some cost (both societal and monetary). In our everyday lives,
a great deal can be done to minimize pollution if we take care to
recycle materials whose production creates pollution and if we act
responsibly with household chemicals and their disposal. Additionally,
there are choices we make each day that also can affect the quantity
of pollutants our actions will introduce into the environment. Heavily
packaged foods, for instance, contain boxes, cartons, bottles etc..
made with polluting dyes, many of which are released from groundwater
at municipal land fills. Whether we choose to drive to the corner
store rather than walk or ride a bicycle will determine how much
we personally contribute to acid and hydrocarbon emissions to the
(and ultimately to global fresh water supplies).
In the end, there are many choices on the personal and societal level
that we must make (consciously or not) that affect the amount of
pollution our town or country will be forced to live with. Our standard
of living and very way of life is based upon practices which are
inherently "dirtier" than those of our distant ancestors, although
they too polluted their environment to some extent. Without taking
a step backward in terms of our standards of living, the answer
seems to lie in a combination of many small changes in our daily
practices and paying more for goods and services, so that manufacturers
of various materials and drivers of automobiles (for instance) will
have cleaner devices with which to conduct their activities.