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Cause and Effects of Water Pollution

Cause and Effects of Water Pollution

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Published by: ronnda on May 12, 2009
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R. Leigh Baker Engl & 101T. Joseph5 May 2009/Cause and Effect EssayAnything humans do, which causes harmful effects to the Earth’s bodies of water iscalled water pollution. This can include pollution to lakes, rivers, oceans, creeks, and evenstreams. There are several causes of water pollution, but there are usually two main categories:direct and indirect contaminants. Within these categories, contaminants then break down intosubcategories of organics, inorganic, radioactive, and acid/bases. This broad range of contaminants comes from many different sources, and affects the world’s waters differently.Direct contaminants are usually describing pollution caused by refineries, factories, wastetreatment plants, and other urbanindustries. This type of pollution occurs because theseindustries directlypour their waste into streams and rivers, which lead out into our oceans. Thesewastesinclude very harmful substances and most of them are not bridgeable. In addition the hotwater discharged from these plants increases the temperature of the water, which also changesthe water chemistry; resulting in a process known as “thermal pollution”.Indirect causes include contaminants that enter water supplies from soils andgroundwater. Soils contain residues from human agricultural actions such as fertilizers, pesticides, and other forms of improperly disposed waste. Atmospheric conditions such as rain,or snow showers, pick up dirt, and silt and transfer them into larger bodies of water.Gaseous emissions from automobiles, factories, industries, and even bakeries, also play a part inthe atmospheric cycle, which re-introduces the gases to the earth in the forms of various showers.The effects of water pollution to any body of water can be devastating to theenvironment, the people, and the animals that depend on that source of water. The effects of 
water pollution vary greatly dependingon what type of pollutant is involved and how large the body of water is. Major metropolises tend to notice more severe effects of water pollution, this isdue to garbage, and chemical dumping that occurs either legally or illegally, resulting in a messof water withfoul odors, as well as toxicity. Fertilizers and oils also cause trouble by choking outvegetation, which are vital to healthy water systems. This results in the water system emerginginto green, slimy swamps, full of dead fish and unpleasant smells.One of the most seriously troubling effects of water pollution is the death of marine livesthat make its home in the aquatic ecosystem. Many types of marine life including Fish, birds,whales, and dolphins have perished on beaches, becoming noticeable casualties of water  pollution. This type of pollution affects the food chain from the microorganisms to human beings, who encounter infectious diseases such as hepatitis because of eating contaminatedseafood. Pollution can also affect the quality of life of humans, by taking away jobs fromcrabbers, fishermen, while placing stiff limitations on recreational pastimes such as sport fishing,and swimming.The effects of water pollution are not always immediate, or immediately noticed at the point of contamination.The parties responsible for the pollution sometimes never think of them.Clearly, the problems associated with water pollution have the capabilities to disrupt life onEarth enormously. In the United States, Congress has passed laws to try to combat water  pollution, acknowledging that water pollution is, indeed, very serious in how it severely affectsthe human race. If there are no measures taken and water pollution continues, life on earth willsuffer severely. However, with knowledge, consideration, and preparation, water pollution coulddecrease. It does not take much effort -- just a little thought

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