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Multiple Types of Water Pollution

If water pollution comes from a single source such as a factorys waste or oil spills it is called
point-source pollution. If it comes from many sources, it is called nonpoint-source pollution.
Most types of water pollution only affect the immediate area but sometimes the pollution can
travel hundreds or thousands of miles and then it is called transboundary pollution.
These different types of water pollution come from varied sources: surface water, groundwater,
microbiological, oxygen depletion, nutrient, suspended matter, and chemical.
Surface Water Pollution
urface water pollution is the most visible form of pollution and we can see it floating on our
waters in la!es, streams, and oceans.
Trash from human consumption, such as water bottles, plastics and other waste products, is most
often evident on water surfaces. This type of pollution also comes from oil spills and gasoline
waste, which float on the surface and affect the water and its inhabitants.
Groundwater Pollution
This type of pollution is becoming more and more relevant because it affects our drin!ing water
and the a"uifers below the soil.
#roundwater pollution is usually caused by highly toxic chemicals and pesticides from farming
that lea! through the ground to contaminate the wells and a"uifers below the surface.
Microbial Pollution
Microbiological pollution is the natural form of water pollution that is caused by microorganisms
in uncured water. Most of these organisms are harmless but some bacteria, viruses, and proto$oa
can cause serious diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
This is a significant problem for people in third world countries who have no clean drin!ing
water and%or facilities to cure the water.
Oxygen Depletion Pollution
Microorganisms that thrive in water feed on biodegradable substances.
&hen there is an influx of biodegradable material from such things as waste or erosion from
farming, the numbers of these microorganisms increase and utili$e the obtainable oxygen.
&hen these oxygen levels are depleted, harmless aerobic microorganisms die and anaerobic
microorganisms thrive. ome of these organisms produce damaging toxins li!e sulfide and
These are necessary for plant growth and development. Most of these are found in wastewater
and fertili$ers. These can cause excess weed and algae growth if there are large concentrations in
water. 'rin!ing water and clog filters can be contaminated. The algae use up the oxygen in the
water and leave none for the surrounding marine life and this can damage other a"uatic
Nutrient Pollution
(utrients are usually found in wastewater and fertili$ers. These can cause excess vegetation in
the water such as algae and weeds, using up the oxygen in the water and hurting the surrounding
marine life and other organisms in the water.
Suspended Matter Pollution
This type of pollution occurs when pollutants enter the water and do not mix in with the water
molecules. These suspended particles form fine silt on the waterbed, harming the marine life by
ta!ing away the nutrients and disturbing their habitat.
Cheical Pollution
'ue to the nature of industry these days and the mass production in industrial plants and farms,
we have a lot of chemical run-off that flows into the nearby rivers and water sources.
Metals and solvents flow out of factories and into the water, polluting the water and harming the
wildlife. )esticides from farms are li!e poison to the wildlife in the water and !ill and endanger
the a"uatic life. If birds or humans eat these infected fish the toxins are transferred to us and we
swallow these dangerous pesticides and toxins, affecting our health.
)etroleum is a different type of chemical pollutant that dramatically affects the a"uatic life. This
oil !ills the fish and marine life and stic!s to the feathers of birds, causing them to lose their
ability to fly.