You are on page 1of 26



W ater Pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of
water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans
and groundwater). Water pollution occurs
when pollutants are discharged directly or
indirectly into water bodies without
adequate treatment to remove harmful
Water pollution affects plants and
organisms living in these bodies of water;
and, in almost all cases the effect is
damaging not only to individual species
and populations, but also to the natural

Types of Water Pollution .

A toxic substance is a chemical pollutant that is not a naturally occurring substance in aquatic ecosystems. The greatest contributors to toxic pollution are herbicides.Toxic Substance -. the number of decomposers will increase.  . These decomposers grow rapidly and use a great deal of oxygen during their growth.Organic pollution occurs pesticides and industrial compounds when an excess of organic matter. As the aquatic organisms die. they are broken down by decomposers which leads to further depletion of the oxygen levels. This leads to a depletion of oxygen as the decomposition process occurs. Organic Substance -. When organic matter increases in a pond. A lack of oxygen can kill aquatic organisms. such as manure or sewage. enters the water.

The process of rapid plant growth followed by increased activity by decomposers and a depletion of the oxygen level is Thermal Pollution -. can occur when water is used as a coolant near a power or industrial plant and then is returned to the aquatic environment at a higher temperature than it was originally. High levels of these nutrients cause an overgrowth of plants and algae. in turn. Thermal pollution can lead to a decrease in the dissolved oxygen level in the water while also increasing the biological demand of aquatic organisms for oxygen.  . As the plants and algae die.Thermal pollution called eutrophication.A type of organic pollution can occur when inorganic pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphates accumulate in aquatic ecosystems. they become organic material in the water. The enormous decay of this plant matter. lowers the oxygen level.

drowns in a flood and a large amount of organic material is added to the water as a result. Major geological events such as a volcano eruption might also be sources of . organic pollution or thermal pollution are caused by nature rather than by human activity.pollution takes place when chemical pollution. An example of ecological pollution would be an increased rate of siltation of a waterway after a landslide which would increase the amount of sediments in runoff water. Another example would be when a large animal. such as a deer.

.POINT AND NONPOINT SOURCES   Point sources of pollution occur when harmful substances are emitted directly into a body of water.  The Exxon Valdez oil spill best illustrates a point source water pollution.

in the form of run-off   .A nonpoint source delivers pollutants indirectly through environmental changes.  An example of this type of water pollution is when fertilizer from a field is carried into a stream by rain.


Fertilizers can increase the amounts of nitrates and phosphates in the water. where toxic substances can build up over a period of time. which can lead to the process of eutrophication. streams and lakes. These substances are particularly dangerous to life in rivers.Farming: •Farms often use large amounts of herbicides and pesticides.  •Farms also frequently use large amounts of chemical fertilizers that are washed into the waterways and damage the water supply and the life within it.  . both of which are toxic pollutants.

  •Four hundred million tons of soil are carried by the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico each year.•Allowing livestock to graze near water sources often results in organic waste products being washed into the waterways. Excessive amounts of sediment in waterways can block sunlight. preventing aquatic plants from photosynthesizing. A great deal of this siltation is due to runoff from the exposed soil of agricultural fields.  . and can also lead to eutrophication. and can suffocate fish by clogging their gills. This sudden introduction of organic material increases the amount of nitrogen in the water.

Business: •Clearing of land can lead to erosion of soil into the river. The resulting hot water can cause thermal pollution. streams and lakes to dispose of waste heat.  •Waste and sewage generated by industry can get into the water supply. Thermal pollution can have a disastrous effect on life in an aquatic ecosystem as temperature increases decrease the amount of oxygen in the water. introducing large organic pollutants into the ecosystem.  •Many industrial and power plants use rivers. thereby reducing the number of animals that .

killing fish and other aquatic organisms. It can also leach heavy metals from the soil into the water. thereby affecting the whole food chain. Because of this. . killing vital plant life.  •Acid precipitation is caused when the burning of fossil fuels emits sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. creating rainfall which contains sulfuric acid. air pollution is potentially one of the most threatening forms of pollution to aquatic ecosystems. streams and ponds it can lower the overall pH of the waterway. As acid precipitation falls into lakes. The sulfur dioxide reacts with the water in the atmosphere. mine sites and abandoned hazardous waste sites.•Water can become contaminated with toxic or radioactive materials from industry.

we can regard the water as polluted. . insects.How do we know when water is polluted? Some forms of water pollution are very obvious: everyone has seen TV news footage of oil slicks filmed from helicopters flying overhead. Another way to measure water quality involves examining the fish. If many different types of creatures can live in a river. Measurements like this are called biological indicators of water quality. the quality is likely to be very good. Water pollution is usually less obvious and much harder to detect than this. Measurements like this are known as chemical indicators of water quality. and other invertebrates that the water will support. if the river supports no fish life at all. If the chemicals are dangerous or the concentrations are too great. the quality is obviously much poorer. One is to take samples of the water and measure the concentrations of different chemicals that it contains. But how can we measure water pollution when we cannot see it? How do we even know it's there? There are two main ways of measuring the quality of water.

Practices of people and their effects .

People throw their garbage into lakes and rivers. .these fishes and aquatic plants will die soon. When this garbage decays. As a result . oxygen which is needed by fishes and aquatic plants will be used up.

and other aquatic animals growing in it could eat these chemicals. . The people who eat these aquatic animals could get poisoned. These harmful chemicals such as lead. Fish. mercury.Factories throw their chemical wastes into the bodies of water. mussels (tahong) . and arsenic acids pollute the water of the rivers.

The detergents used by the people for washing could poison the fish and the other aquatic animals and plants living in them.Washing clothes and dishes in the rivers and lakes is also not a good practice. .

.Fertilizers sprayed by people on their plants could also pollute the bodies of water. many algae and other plants will then reduce the oxygen content of the river and the other bodies of water. these chemicals will find their way into the rivers and seas. When it rains . With the abundance of nutrients and organic matter in the water. The result is the death of fish and other aquatic animals.

They will soon die. When they cover the surface of water .The crude oil that spills from boats and ships pollutes the seas and oceans. the oxygen from the air cannot dissolve in it . Aquatic animals that rely on oxygen to live will not be able to breathe. . too.

This is known as the Red Tide. It can even cause their death. and other shells foods are affected . many of our fishes . many microscopic organisms called dinoflagellates will grow in bodies of water. When Red tide is present .When people continuously do these practices. . These organism produce poisonous substances which give a reddish color to the water. mussels .

Anglers who no longer catch so many fish have campaigned for tougher penalties against factories that pour pollution into our rivers.How can we stop water pollution? There is no easy way to solve water pollution. laws. Greater public awareness can make a positive difference. Broadly speaking. there are three different things that can help to tackle the problem— education. they formed a group called Surfers Against Sewage to force governments and water companies to clean up their act. it wouldn't be so much of a problem. In the early 1990s. . and economics—and they work together as a team. People who've grown tired of walking the world's polluted beaches often band together to organize community beach-cleaning sessions. Education Making people aware of the problem is the first step to solving it. if there were. when surfers in Britain grew tired of catching illnesses from water polluted with sewage.

Environmental laws can make it tougher for people to pollute. Pollution discharged by factories in one country with poor environmental standards can cause problems in neighboring nations. Most countries also have their own water pollution laws. and the 1998 OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic. even when they have tougher laws and higher standards. for . such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (signed by over 120 nations). while seas span whole continents. which seeks to ensure the quality of the waters that people use for recreation. They include the 1976 Bathing Water Directive. but to be really effective they have to operate across national and international borders. In the United States. The European Union has water-protection laws (known as directives) that apply to all of its member states. the 1978 MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. This is why we have international laws governing the oceans. Many rivers cross countries.Laws One of the biggest problems with water pollution is its transboundary nature. the 1972 London Dumping Convention.

This means that whoever causes pollution should have to pay to clean it up. one way or another. for example. .Economics Most environmental experts agree that the best way to tackle pollution is through something called the polluter pays principle. Or it could mean that factories that use rivers must have their water inlet pipes downstream of their effluent outflow pipes. so if they cause pollution they themselves are the first people to suffer. It could also mean that shoppers should have to pay for their plastic grocery bags. the polluter pays principle is designed to deter people from polluting by making it less expensive for them to behave in an environmentally responsible way. to encourage recycling and minimize waste. It could mean that tanker owners should have to take out insurance that covers the cost of oil spill cleanups. Polluter pays can operate in all kinds of ways. Ultimately. as is now common in Ireland.

and so on. and people who depend on it remain healthy. for example. and fish that are too poisonous to eat. we can make pollution less of a problem—and the . And we can take action as countries and continents to pass laws that will make pollution harder and the world less polluted. animals. not pouring oil down drains. We can take individual action to help reduce water pollution. reducing pesticides.Our clean future Life is ultimately about choices—and so is pollution. by helping out on beach cleans or litter picks to keep our rivers and seas that little bit cleaner. Or we can work together to keep the environment clean so the plants. We can live with sewage-strewn beaches. Working together. dead rivers. by using environmentally friendly detergents. We can take community action too.

30-9:00 .2 tth:7.Created by Dariz Mae Rebate Ab-eng.