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Water Pollution

Water Pollution

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Published by: akhileshmoney on Jan 14, 2009
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1. WATER POLLUTION
When toxic substances enter lakes, streams,rivers, oceans, and other water bodies, theyget dissolved or lie suspended in water or getdeposited on the bed. This results in thepollution of water whereby the quality of thewater deteriorates, affecting aquaticecosystems. Pollutants can also seep downand affect the groundwater deposits.Water pollution has many sources. The mostpolluting of them are the city sewage andindustrial waste discharged into the rivers. The facilities to treat waste waterare not adequate in any city in India. Presently, only about 10% of the wastewater generated is treated; the rest is discharged as it is into our waterbodies. Due to this, pollutants enter groundwater, rivers, and other waterbodies. Such water, which ultimately ends up in our households, is oftenhighly contaminated and carries disease-causing microbes. Agricultural run-off, or the water from the fields that drains into rivers, is another major waterpollutant as it contains fertilizers and pesticides.Domestic sewage refers to waste water that is discarded from households.Also referred to as sanitary sewage, such water contains a wide variety of dissolved and suspended impurities. Biochemical oxygen demand, or BOD The amount of organic material that can rot in the sewage is measured bythe biochemical oxygen demand. BOD is the amount of oxygen required bymicro-organisms to decompose the organic substances in sewage. Therefore,the more organic material there is in the sewage, the higher the BOD. It isamong the most important parameters for the design and operation of sewage treatment plants. BOD levels of industrial sewage may be manytimes that of domestic sewage. Dissolved oxygen is an important factor thatdetermines the quality of water in lakes and rivers. The higher theconcentration of dissolved oxygen, the better the water quality. Whensewage enters a lake or stream, micro-organisms begin to decompose the
 
organic materials. Oxygen is consumed as micro-organisms use it in theirmetabolism. This can quickly deplete the available oxygen in the water.When the dissolved oxygen levels drop too low, many aquatic species perish.In fact, if the oxygen level drops to zero, the water will become septic. Whenorganic compounds decompose without oxygen, it gives rise to theundesirable odours usually associated with septic or putrid conditions.It amounts to a very small fraction of the sewageby weight. But it is large by volume and containsimpurities such as organic materials and plantnutrients that tend to rot. The main organicmaterials are food and vegetable waste, plantnutrient come from chemical soaps, washingpowders, etc. Domestic sewage is also very likelyto contain disease-causing microbes. Thus,disposal of domestic waste water is a significanttechnical problem. Sewage generated from the urban areas in India hasmultiplied manifold since 1947. Today, many people dump their garbage into streams, lakes, rivers, andseas, thus making water bodies the final resting place of cans, bottles,plastics, and other household products. The various substances that we usefor keeping our houses clean add to water pollution as they contain harmfulchemicals. In the past, people mostly used soaps made from animal andvegetable fat for all types of washing. But most of today’s cleaning productsare synthetic detergents and come from the petrochemical industry. Mostdetergents and washing powders contain phosphates, which are used tosoften the water among other things. These and other chemicals containedin washing powders affect the health of all forms of life in the water.
What is the Cause of Water Pollution?
Water pollution refers to the changes in the physical, biological, and chemicalconditions of any body of water which harmfully disrupts the balance of theecosystem.Like any type of pollution, water pollution results when an overwhelmingamount of waste coming from different sources of pollutants can no longer
 
be accommodated by the natural ecosystem. Consequently, when thewastes are not destroyed as fast as they are produced, they make itunfavorable to humans and many other organisms. But that's not all. Learnmore about what causes water pollution. There are actually manyspecific reasons behindwhat causes waterpollution. However, it isimportant to familiarizeyourself with the two maincategories of waterpollution. Some pollutioncomes directly from one’sspecific location. This typeof pollution is called pointsource pollution such assewage pipes that emptypolluted water into theriver and farmland.Meanwhile, non-pointsource pollution is pollution that comes from large areas like gasoline andother dirt from highways that go into the lakes and rivers.What are the causes water pollution? Who are the culprits who should beresponsible for the harm brought by their pollutants? How do these sourcesof pollution pollute different bodies of water?
 
One major cause of water pollution that has caused serious environmentaland health problems are the pollutants coming from chemical and industrialprocesses. When factories and manufacturers pour their chemicals andlivestock wastes directly into streams and rivers, the water becomespoisonous and oxygen levels are depleted causing many aquatic organismsto die. These wastes include solvents and toxic substances. Most of thewastes are not biodegradable. Power plants, paper mills, refineries,automobile factories dispose waste into the rivers. The heated water from the power plants is called thermal pollution. This killsaquatic animals and plants by reducing the oxygen content of the water.Power plants use water to cool their machineries, thus changing thetemperature of the water.Aside from thermal pollution, there are also organic and inorganic pollutants. The organic wastes include refuse from slaughter houses, fish and meat

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