Water Pollution: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Polluted water causes death to many people every year compared to other forms of calamities experienced worldwide. Water pollution has resulted from various things human activities being among the significant factors.

What is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is caused when dangerous substances such as chemicals and microorganisms contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, and other water bodies, interfering with water quality and offering toxic to human beings and our environment.

Water pollution can have several effects on the health of an individual and also their habitats. The results of water pollution can be calamitous depending on the chemical types, the concentration of the pollutants, and the area they are being polluted. The rampant situation of water pollution is a massive threat to the lives of people today.

Causes Of Water Pollution

Reports show that domestic sewage causes a significant percentage of water pollution, industrial wastes such as sugar, textile, pesticides, paper, and pulp are causing pollution to the water. Rivers that are polluted have strong bad smells affecting the people around.

Worldwide, a more significant percentage of people are experiencing threats to water pollution. Water pollution effects can be experienced in human health and the environment. Water pollution is caused by factors such as:

· Domestic sewage - A more significant percentage of water pollution is as a result of household wastewater. Industrial waste is the leading cause of water pollution. Polluted rivers produce unpleasant smells, and many people in the world are threatened by water security.

· Weak management system

· Urbanization

· Plastic and polythene bag

· Population growth - The increased population has much positive influence but causes harm to pollute water. The high population results in an increased solid waste generation that contributes a lot to water pollution. Both solid and liquid waste is directed into the rivers.

Human excreta also cause water pollution. Contaminated water contains harmful bacteria that can affect the health of human beings. The government is not able to distribute essential needs to people because of an increased population. Plastics and polythene papers contribute positively to polluting water.

· Industrialization- Much domestic sewage is drained in the river, and many sewages are not treated. Domestic sewages have poisonous, solid waste, plastic litters, and bacterial contaminants resulting in water pollution.

Various industrials effluent drained into the water without being treated is the leading cause of water pollution. Dangerous materials released from the industries are responsible for surface water and groundwater contamination. Contamination depends on the nature of the industry. When toxic metals get into the water, their quality reduces. Twenty-five percent of water pollution results from sectors, and this is more dangerous.

· Pesticides and fertilizers- bacteria, pests, and germs are killed using pesticides. Water pollution and its quality are directly affected by chemicals having pesticides. In a case where the pesticides are too many or are not managed well, they can be dangerous to the agricultural ecosystem. Chemical residues mix with river water due to flooding, heavy rainfall, too much irrigation and enter the food chain. Pharmaceutical found in water also causes water pollution, and it is toxic to the health of human beings.

Effect of water pollution

Water pollution affects both human beings and aquatic life. Many water sources available are polluted by garbage and dumping of chemicals.

1. Diseases

Generally, water pollution causes death to many people every year. Contaminated water can also result in one having conditions such as cholera and typhoid. Every year, people experience sickness due to polluted water.

Communities earning meager income are always at higher risks of being affected by water pollution since their homes are still near the polluting industries. Waterborne diseases leading to bacteria and viruses from human and animal waste are the leading cause of sickness from contaminated drinking water. Illnesses resulted from dirty water include cholera, typhoid, and even giardia.

2. Contamination of water

Contamination of water that comes from chemicals and heavy metals from industries and municipals wastewater are dangerous to aquatic life. They reduce the lifespan and ability to give birth and make their way up the food chain as predators feed on prey.

3. Food chain disruption

The food chain is interfered with by moving the toxins from one level to greater levels. In different cases, pollution can wipe out the whole part of the food chain. This will affect the organisms by leading to excessive growth or wipes out the prey in a scenario where the predator dies.

4. Destroys ecosystems

Very many species of plants and animals always depend on water for them to survive. Water pollution can ruin the well-balanced ecosystem and habitats for organisms living in water, such as whales, fish, turtles, and many others.

5. Expensive

Economically, managing and restoring polluted water bodies is very costly. A lot of money is spent on purifying drinking water that takes its source from nutrients polluted water bodies. When there is a depletion of oxygen, the fishing business is greatly affected. In areas where there are water activities or sports, a lot of money is used to clean up the water.

6. Death

Water pollution results in the death of animals. Water animals lose their lives when water is poisoned for different reasons. Water pollution results in damage and deaths of very many animals whose habitats are water. The animals are affected by the solid waste disposed into water bodies as this harms them in various ways.

Ways of reducing water pollution include:

· Reduction of plastic use and reuse or instead recycle them when possible.

· Ensure you dispose of off-well chemicals, cleaners, and oil to avoid them from end