Water Pollution Facts That We Should Know
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Water is an essential element in our planet. It is vital for survival and hygiene and is used by not only humans but also of animals and plants alike. Yet, even with these facts, water pollution still poses to be one of the greatest problems we face today. As such, here are some water pollution facts that we should know.
Water Pollution Facts
What is water pollution?
Simply defined, water pollution is the contamination of water bodies. Toxic substances are discharged and are not treated causing it to be suspended or deposited to water beds. Contamination can alter its chemical, physical and biological component causing it to be harmful to anyone ingesting or using it. This poses a great danger to the aquatic ecosystem as well as to humans and other living things alike as we are all dependent on water.
What are the types and causes of water pollution?
There are many types and causes of water pollution but here are a few to name:
Main component: Oil
Oil pollution happens when liquid petroleum is released into water through human activity. Usually, these are from oil spills which can happen through tanker spills, ship, and factory waste.Yet contrary to popular opinion, tanker spills only account for 12% of oil spills while ship and factory waste account for 70% pollution. Yet, regardless of cause, oil spills have a widespread effect as it can spread for miles and affect other connected bodies of water. As such, aquatic animals are largely affected as it can cause death and poisoning to people ingesting the said animals.
Main component: Wastewater, fertilizer, sewage
Nutrients, such as wastewater, fertilizer, and sewage, give additional nutrients to plants which are very important. Yet when these nutrients are flushed to water bodies, they can cause a massive increase in algae and weed in the water. Too much of these can lead to oxygen deprivation which can kill other organisms in the water leading to a dead zone. Ingesting water from these zones can also lead to poisoning in humans and animals.
Main component: Soil
When rains or floods happen, sediments present a problem. These are washed by rainwater into bodies of water and can pose a big danger to humans and aquatic creatures alike. Aside from producing muddy water, soil can block the gill of fish, suffocating them. Muddy water also prevents it to be potable for humans and plants making it totally unusable.
Chemical Water Pollution
Main component: Farming chemicals and industrial wastes
Farmers and factories work with chemicals that get washed up and end in water bodies. In order to control weeds and pests, farmers use chemicals that are harmful when ingested. On the other hand, factories use chemicals such as sulfur, lead, and mercury in their respective industries. These pose a great danger to aquatic animals and slow down their development and lead them to death.
Main component: Garbage
Plastics, paper, wood, metal or marine debris are the most visible pollutant due to their solid appearance. These pollutants are found on coasts of beaches and on different bodies of water. These could result in poisoning to both humans and aquatic animals. Small fishes and filter feeders ingest small plastics which contains toxins. After which, they pass these on to humans who feed on them. Although these marine debris harm people and animals alike, aquatic animals may have a bigger damage. Large plastic items such as straws and plastic bags may choke turtles, dolphins, and other marine life.
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