Why water pollution should matter to all of us?
70% of earth’s surface is covered with water, which is indeed most precious natural resource. Without it Earth would be non-existent. It is vital for survival of everything on our planet. However, we as humans are polluting our rivers, oceans and lakes and in this way we are harming our planet to extent where living organisms are dying at alarming rate.
The contamination of water bodies like oceans, rivers, lakes and groundwater is referred as water pollution. It is mostly caused by human activities. When water is polluted it is harmful for organisms and also for plants that thrive in these water bodies. Water is polluted due to pollutants which are discharged directly into water without any treatment.
The contaminated water has adverse effects on human health. More than 14,000 people are died everyday due to polluted water. It is also linked to male fertility problems. Many people on our planet are deprived of pure and clean drinking water.
Water can be polluted in two different ways i.e. Surface water pollution and groundwater pollution. The sources of surface water pollution include oil spill, dumping toxins, industrial discharge, sewage treatment plants, radioactive waste, urban runoff and agriculture runoff. Most of the water is underground water which is found in soil and aquifers. Humans use aquifer water as drinking water. This groundwater is mostly polluted by pesticides contamination from the soil; ultimately contaminating our drinking water. Ground water comprises of 95% of all fresh water.
There are two types of water pollutants; point source and nonpoint source. The best example of point source is oil spill of Exxon Valdez, happened in 1989. In this type of water pollution, the harmful substances are directly emitted into water bodies. In nonpoint source pollution, the pollutants are indirectly delivered through environmental changes. The example of this type of source is when a fertilizer is carried from field into stream by rain in the form of run-off. These sources are very difficult to control.
There are many causes of water pollution. The main causes are fertilizers and sewage. These contain nutrients and phosphates; which if in excess, over stimulate the growth of aquatic plants. Excessive growth of the algae clogs our waterway, consumes dissolved oxygen and block light to deeper bottom. The respiration ability of fish and other aquatic invertebrates.
When the chemical contaminants enter the rivers and streams, they got badly polluted and cause critical problems for the environment. Waterborne chemical pollution is worst problem of 20th century and causes huge amount of destruction.
Another main reason of water pollution is sewage water. Pathogen which include bacteria and virus, enter waterways through untreated sewage, storm drains and dump sewage. These pathogens are very harmful for human health. They spread diseases like typhoid, dysentery and respiratory and skin problems.
There are also other forms of water pollution which include petroleum, radioactive substances and heat. Petroleum products in the form of oil spills is example of this type of water pollution along shorelines. Off-shore drilling companies also contribute to this pollution. According to one estimate, for every one million tons of transported oil, one ton of oil is spilled. Radioactive substances are produced from nuclear power plants in the form of waste. The particular form of this waste is uranium and thorium. The last form of water pollution is heat. It is considered pollutant because many aquatic organisms die due to increase in temperature.
The water pollution has increased to such extent that it can disrupt life on our planet. The government alone can’t solve this issue; rather we should take responsibility to keep the water clean. We should learn to dispose household wastes properly. We should plant new trees and preserve existing trees to prevent soil erosion. We should keep our litter, leaves and pet wastes out of gutter and storm drains. With these small steps, we can combat water pollution. If these steps are not taken and water pollution continues, life on earth will suffer badly.
Thank you for reading! Stay Safe!👋😌