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The causes of water pollution



garbage. Disposal of human excreta and animal dung: The rain washes away human excreta and animal dung into rivers. chemicals dumped by industries and governments are another major source of water pollution. between 1 and 10 billion tons of oil are spilt. Often. Treated sewage forms sludge. Many of these chemicals get dissolved in rainwater which flows into ponds. Drinking this polluted water may cause several water-borne diseases such as diarrhea. which is sent out into the sea and dumped. such as that spilled by transport ships. may be harmful to human beings and animals. typhoid and cholera. rivers and seas. often killing all the sea wildlife in the dumping area. Oil. Even if sewage is treated. killing many species and destroying the ecosystem in the area. In addition to sewage. governments either do not care or simply look the other way. dysentery. These are discharged into rivers. Often. they place it not far from their own coastline. has been dumped into the water since the US Civil War. . and pesticides to kill insects that damage crops.One of the reasons that the water pollution problem is so severe is that it is not actually illegal to dump pollutants into water bodies. problems still arise. Wastages from chemical factories contain many toxic or poisonous chemicals. about half of all sewage is dumped into water bodies in its original form. What are the major causes of water pollution? The main causes for water pollution are : Disposal of waste: This waste includes sewage. sludge. Across the world. canals. and even toxic pollutants are all dumped into the water. ponds and lakes. jaundice. Polluted river-water can cause diseases to the whole population. The river-water becomes poisonous for fish and other aquatic animals and plants. Sewage. Cleanup efforts have been weak. Every year. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides: Farmers use fertilizers for growth. No efforts are made to disinfect the sewage or to remove especially harmful pollutants. Fertilizers and pesticides which are good for plants. Many cities and countries dump sewage out at sea. garbage and liquid waste from factories and homes. as only about 10% of the oil is removed by the most successful efforts.


bottles etc. pesticides. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived from human practices (such as gaseous emissions from automobiles. although this doesn't mean that pollutants can't be found in these waters. deforestation from acid rain. 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 atmosphere (and ultimately to global fresh water supplies). radioactive and acid/base. In the end. for instance. of course... Examples from each class and their potential sources are too numerous to discuss here. although they too polluted their environment to some extent.) and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. specific to the various contaminants. that emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. made with polluting dyes. Heavily packaged foods. 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. these practices are regulated. Soils and groundwaters contain the residue of human agricultural practices (fertilizers. b)What are the effects of water pollution? The effects of water pollution are varied. Without taking a step backward in terms of our standards of living. factories and even bakeries). refineries. In the United States and other countries. Contaminants can be broadly classified into organic. unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity. 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. In our everyday lives. poisionous food animals (due to these organisms having bioaccumulated toxins from the environment over their life spans). Direct sources include effluent outfalls from factories. They include poisonous drinking water. many of which are released from groundwater at municipal land fills. These effects are. so that manufacturers of various materials and drivers of automobiles (for instance) will have cleaner devices with which to conduct their activities.Subject: Sources of Water Pollution a)What are the sources of water pollution? b)What are the effects of water pollution? c)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. there are choices we make each day that also can affect the quantity of pollutants our actions will introduce into the environment. cartons. and many other effects. Additionally. . inorganic. 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. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain water. waste treatment plants etc. etc. the answer seems to lie in a combination of many small changes in our daily practices and paying more for goods and services. contain boxes. Our standard of living and very way of life is based upon practices which are inherently "dirtier" than those of our distant ancestors. All of these solutions come with some cost (both societal and monetary)..

it’s unintended and unknown that actions are contributing to water pollution. Often. Types of Water Pollution Without getting too technical. water pollution is a result of various things. Many times it’s the last thought on someone’s mind that their actions could significantly impact the environment locally and beyond. Ways Water is Polluted Industry . which ultimately impacts all humans. but usually leads back to these sources:    Industry Agriculture Homes Man-made situations are typically the causes of water pollution. many of the situations that cause water pollution can be stopped or decreased. With proper care and consideration.Effects of Water Pollution & Solutions The effects of water pollution strongly impact the balance of nature.

Other animals are affected when they eat dead fish in contaminated streams. water pollution has a huge impact on our lives. They are sometimes never known by the person responsible for the pollution. They are not always seen at the point of contamination. Even just the sediments of dirt. Water Pollution Solutions . However. Additionally. Additionally. along with diarrhea. Bacteria feed off the algae. Any time a septic system is not installed properly or bursts beneath the ground. Other animals drinking the water may become ill and die. too. Human waste. A pungent odor is the result. rivers and lakes. With knowledge. Oils and anti-freeze leaked from vehicles pollute water.  The emission of toxic fumes into the air causes acid rain. when it rains. This temperature change may cause aquatic life to die and numbers to be reduced. disposed of typically by sewers. However. It doesn’t take much effort — just a little thought.  Thermal pollution occurs when water used to cool hot machinery is released into waterways and the temperature of the water is drastically increased. Even if taken to landfills. Algae grow according to how much waste is in a water source. are pollutants in the fact that they cause the waterways to become cloudy and muddy. When the acid rain falls. thus polluting them.   Flooding: The erosion of soil into waterways causes flooding. Effects of Water Pollution There are various effects of water pollution. thus breaking a link in the food chain.There are three main ways that industries contribute to water pollution. The decreased oxygen causes harm to other organisms living in the water. the underground water supply may be polluted. pollute water. Homes Households are a leading cause of water pollution by the trash they create. This causes the death of many aquatic animals. Agriculture It’s common for farmers to use fertilizers and other chemicals on their crops to help them grow.     Spread of disease: Drinking polluted water can cause cholera or typhoid infections. this waste decreases the amount of oxygen in water.  Direct disposal of waste into natural waterways causes waste to build up within the water. Additionally. Harms animals: Birds that get into oil-contaminated water die from exposure to cold water and air due to feather damage. animal manure and vegetable peelings are food for algae. especially with heavy rainfall. emitting toxic gases that cause acid rain and changing the temperature of water with their disposals into waterways. causing the death of aquatic animals or other organisms. water pollution can be decreased. Causes algae in water: Urea. without any chemicals. often this trash finds its way to natural waterways. these chemicals join the run-off water and flow into streams. Harms the food chain: Toxins within water can harm aquatic organisms. Affects body organs: The consumption of highly contaminated water can cause injury to the heart and kidneys. causing more of a chance of death to organisms. these chemicals and nutrients added to the soil can soak into the underground water supplies. They pollute by disposing of waste directly into waterways. rivers and lakes. The effects of water pollution are not always immediate. such a temperature increase decreases the amount of oxygen in water. consideration and preparation. it contaminates local natural waterways including streams. decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water.

attempts to clean it up may cause even more harm. This gives the environment needed time to begin to correct itself. Adjustments in temperature to counteract heat or cooling pollution may not achieve proper balance. and time for scientists to determine the best way to combat existing problems. leading to more loss of aquatic life. While less than 3 percent of this water is drinkable. Water Pollution Water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. all of it is necessary for supporting life on Earth. Chemicals used to treat or clean up oil spills may further contaminate water supplies. Water pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment today. Effects of water pollution can include:     Overgrowth of algae and surface life. but so are water pollution solutions. The impact of water pollution on aquatic life and land life can be devastating. leading to loss of light and nutrients to deep aquatic life Suffocation of aquatic life through sediment and loss of water depth Disruption of the food chain Spread of water-borne illnesses such as dysentery or typhoid Water Pollution Solutions The best solution for water pollution is prevention. While pollution that has already occurred is a current threat to all life on Earth.Water pollution is growing daily around the world. Find out what you can do to combat water pollution in your area. Preventing water pollution does more for the environment by halting the level of pollutants where they are. There are several types of water pollution ranging from sewage and fertilizers to soil erosion. .

0001 percent of oil contamination in water. other wastes and any you see to a nearby disposal facility. Do your part by taking your own trash. such as paints.Water Pollution Preventions There are several steps that can be taken to help prevent water pollution from getting worse. If you do your part to prevent pollution in your area. dispose of them properly. Keep this problem from getting worse by changing to reusable grocery bags whenever possible. Avoid Plastics When Possible Plastic bags in the ocean is a well documented water pollutant. Dispose of Toxic Chemicals Properly It’s always a good idea to use lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) products in your home whenever possible. Simply slowing down the rate of pollution can give the environment and scientists time to find long-term solutions to the very real problems of water pollution. Spreading an awareness of problems is a big first step toward combating them. Get Active and Get Involved Is there a company near your home that releases heat. Keep Machinery in Good Working Order Oil is one of the largest polluters of water in the world. Paints can be recycled and oils can be reused after treatment. Planting vegetative covers. If you do use toxic chemicals. Take steps to ensure you aren’t adding to this problem by repairing oil leaks in cars and machinery as soon as they are spotted. Clean Up Beaches and Waterways Just picking up waste and litter wherever it is spotted can go a long way to keeping debris and pollutants out of the water. stains or cleaning supplies. It’s estimated that just the transportation of oil is responsible for . too late when viewed in the light of major oil spills and floating plastic bag islands they are necessary to prevent these problems from growing worse. then you’ll be helping to protect aquatic life. water ways and septic tanks. Proper disposal keeps these substances out of storm drains. local authorities or write letters to the heads of companies. Conserve Soil Erosion is one of the biggest causes of water pollution today. strict erosion management and implementing beneficial farming methods are just a few of the many possible approaches to soil conservation. When you take steps to conserve soil. Contact the EPA. coolants or chemicals into a nearby waterway? You can get involved. . Clean up the residue and dispose of the used oils properly. While water pollution solutions may seem like too little. you are also conserving water and water life.

which deoxygenates water killing fish and other animals is referred to as eutrophication. . ii) Activated sludge process 11. Reverse osmosis Effects on Ecosystem Back to Top 1) Besides inorganic nutrient input. destroying ecosystem. i) Trickling filter method 10. which cause mass destruction of agnatic life. especially the blue-green algae. This promotes the growth of oxygen consuming algae (algal bloom). a) Primary treatment 8. c) Advanced water treatment or temporary treatment 12. decomposition of organic wastes. The effects could be classified as    effects on ecosystem effects on animal health effects on human health Sub Topics 1. Effects on Animal Health 3. Bioaccumulation 4. 2) Addition of oxygen not sufficient to support life. Effects on Ecosystem 2. b) Secondary treatment 9. with the inflow of waste water.Effects of Water Pollution Water pollution has number of effects. 4) Addition of oil destroys life by reducing oxygen and catching fine. Bio magnification 5. The growth of oxygen consuming algae. Improvement of Water Quality 7. plant nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates takes place. 3) Addition of non-degradable broad-spectrum pesticides. Effects on Human Health 6.

Biological oxygen demand or BOD stands for the amount of oxygen regained by the microorganism of polluted water to complete the decomposition of organic matter present in the water. higher is the degree of organic pollutants. Effects on Animal Health Back to Top       Large scale death of aquatic and terrestrial animals Reduced reproduction rate Increased incidence of diseases Imbalances created in secondary food chains Accumulation of bioaccumulative and non-biodegradable pollutants in animal bodies. Bioaccumulation Back to Top It is a concept wherein pesticides are not subjected to disintegration and excretion from animal/human body. BOD is expressed in milligrams of O 2 per litre of water. A survey of the river Yamuna recorded BOD of 2000 at Delhi.webs and food chains. Some organochlorine pesticides (like DDT. BHC. Imbalance in host . A weak organic waste has a BOD less then 1500 mg/ litre. Endrin) are known for bioaccumulative and biomagnifiable characters.000 at Agra. Depositions of deleterious chemicals in soil leading to loss of soil fertility.   Shifts in biodiversity of animals and plants in polluted ecosystem. Higher in the amount of oxygen consumed.parasite relations in the ecosystem and changes in food . 9000 at Mathura and 12. a strong one has higher than this.   Imbalances in microbial population and effects due to such imbalances. The term is usually used to know the amount of oxygen consumed. .

This is called bio magnifications.g. For e. Increased incidence of skin disorders due to contact with pollutants. cancerous tumors beyond a threshold limit of accumulation. Some organochlorine pesticides cause health hazards like impotence. diarrhea and infections to intestine. Increased incidence of constipation.vegetarians. ulcers due to nitrate pollution. the concentration of pollutants gets increased. 0. through secondary and tertiary food chain in case of non .Bio magnification Back to Top Due to bioaccumulative characters. Concentration of pollutants due to bioaccumulative pesticides. Dangerous effects on growing foetus in pregnant women.. Effects on Human Health Back to Top      Increased incidence of tumours. . While passing through the organisms.5 ppm DDT in grasses gets magnified to 2ppm in sheep. these pollutants pass through the food chain and food web. It may be magnified to 10 ppm in human beings who eat such polluted mutton.

which results in asphyxia (reduced O2 supply). . These one as follows: a) Primary treatment Back to Top In this method mechanical screening and sedimentation of un-dissolved solids in raw sewage is done. Water borne diseases like jaundice.  Still births. gasteroenteritis will be more prevalent due to water pollution. Loss of memory power and reduced mental sharpness.    Reduced activity of immune system. Improvement of Water Quality Back to Top Water pollution cannot be altogether checked. abortions and birth of deformed children. It may be further treated to tertiary level zero measures are adopted for secondary treatment. 'Blue baby' disease caused by methane globinemia .    Reduced bone development and muscular development. Shifts in physiological cycles of human body. hepatitis. b) Secondary treatment Back to Top Sewage treated in primary treatment is brought in contact with oxygen and aerobic micro-organisms. but measures can be taken to reduce it. But it fails to remove any dissolved substance from water. They are (i) Trickling filter method (ii) Activated sludge process. They break down the organic matter into harmless materials as CO 2 and H2O. Further. Reduced male fertility. chlorination is done to reduce the bacteria.

c) Advanced water treatment or temporary treatment Back to Top Finally in the third step. The tank contains sludge consisting of bacteria and algae. The bacteria is able to decompose most of the organic matter and algae produces oxygen to promote the growth of these decomposers. . ii) Activated sludge process Back to Top Here the sewage water is pumped into an aeration tank. salts like nitrates and phosphates are removed by precipitation technique.i) Trickling filter method Back to Top In this case sewage water passes through a thick bed of gravel stones so that bacteria consume most of the organic matter.

This is a sore point not only for the farmers but also for the factory owners as the high cost of treating industrial wastewater affects their bottom-line. In India. In some cases even radio-active materials are discharged into the rivers bodies by some companies. is generated in urban areas. despite the presence of government norms. approximately 50. etc. arsenic. Its biggest sources are city sewage and industrial waste that are discharged untreated into the rivers. oils. The cost of establishing and running a wastewater treatment plant in a factory can be as high as 20 percent of the total expenditure. the overall figure will be much higher. lead. the government of India is spending millions of rupees every year on water . tin. All efforts by the government to put a check on wastewater management have failed as the treatment systems require high capital investment for installation and also high cost is incurred on operational maintenance. who for the sake of saving money on water treatment. All these have a devastating effect on all living creatures that exist near the polluted water bodies. throw all the norms to the winds. Urgent steps are needed to be taken by the Indian government on the water pollution management front and the flawed policies need to be amended in order to obtain concrete results. chemicals. paints. zinc. Activities like agriculture and industrial production generate water pollution apart from the biological waste. Despite the best efforts of the government. cadmium.000 million litres of wastewater. Hence we see a situation where. The entry of toxic substances into water bodies like lakes. The materials that constitute industrial waste include highly harmful substances like salts. every year. even the ground water gets contaminated. Water pollution is a reality of human existence. grease. both industrial and domestic. streams and rivers leads to deterioration in the quality of water and severely affects the aquatic ecosystems. iron. effluents continue to flow into the river bodies untreated. If the data of rural areas is also taken into account. only about 10 per cent of the waste water that is generated in the cities is treated and the rest is discharged into the rivers. Due to this.What are the steps taken by government to control water pollution? Answer: Water pollution has emerged as one of the gravest environmental threats in India. On the other hand.

. Indian government has spent nearly 20. According to rough estimates. The money spent on pollution control should be spent on giving subsidies to the industries which generate wastewater and on strict monitoring of their adherence to the norms.3 per cent of total water available on this planet is fit for consumption for human beings. Hence ignoring the issue of water pollution any longer would mean inviting a Third World War which would be fought for the control of water resources. divert its resources to encourage wastewater treatment in agriculture and industrial sector. The remaining 99. like the Ganga Action Plan and Yamuna Action Plan.000 crore rupees till now on various schemes in India. Here also. Hence the government should.pollution control. It should not be forgotten that only 0. instead of spending money on pollution control schemes. animals & plants. The government should realise that all efforts to get the river-bodies free from water pollution will fail unless the process of untreated industrial and other wastewater getting into the water bodies is not stopped. the approach should be to re-use the treated water for agriculture instead of letting it go into the rivers and streams. Research should be promoted in areas like nanotechnology to find out ways and means to build cheaper wastewater management plants. to control water pollution in rivers. But no positive results have been achieved as yet.7 per cent is present either as sea water or as glaciers on the mountains.