Water Pollution: The Effects

By: April Carson


Waste water is the number one pollutant of our world and it's rapidly reaching a point where we'll be forced to either live with less or face dire consequences. We're essentially dumping 80% untreated sewage back into rivers, lakes, oceans - polluting them at every turn. Unsafe drinking water kills more people than war annually but there are ways in which you can help preserve access for those who need it most:


The first thing that anyone can do is take care not to waste what they already have by practicing conservation methods like turning off taps when brushing their teeth or avoiding wasteful practices such as clothes washing duties on full loads (unless absolutely necessary). After all - if everyone takes just a little initiative then collectively these small efforts will go very far in the push to clean up our water sources.


Our own actions regarding water also have an impact on communities and countries across the world. In fact, the global community buys roughly $1 billion of bottled water each year in North America alone and this industry has become notorious for its symbiotic relationship with local municipalities who sell their public utilities to thirsty mega water corporations.


Pour yourself a glass of cool, clear water and read this. While most Americans have access to safe drinking water, potentially harmful contaminants—from arsenic to copper to lead—have been found in tapwater across the nation.


You might be feeling hopeless against the threat of pollution to clean water, but you’re not. To better understand the problem and what we can do about it, here is an overview on what causes water pollution, and how we can protect ourselves from it.


The health effects of water pollution are not fully understood. The water that comes from our water spigots and water treatment systems is often exposed to harmful bacteria, chemicals and other substances during its journey from source to tap. These water pollutants can cause serious health problems ranging from gastrointestinal disorders to cancer.


Many water pollutants remain in water at such low levels that they don’t pose a threat to our health. However, this water can still have a negative impact on our general well-being if we are exposed to enough of it over time. For example, water contaminated with high concentration levels of lead causes neurological problems even at low levels of exposure.


What is Water Pollution?




Water pollution is water that contains harmful pollutants. It can come from many different sources. Some water polluting substances are organic, such as animal waste and sewage. Others may be inorganic such as lead or mercury. Water pollution affects the water around us that we drink, fish with and bathe in everyday of our lives!


Polluted water takes time to spread out through water sources after it has been contaminated. Once water pollution reaches our lakes, rivers, and oceans it wreaks havoc on the ecosystem.


The causes of water pollution:


Water run off. Some water pollution comes from water runoff. As water flows over the land, it picks up pollutants such as pesticides and other chemicals, garbage, soil, sand and silt that are harmful to water quality. Water that is polluted by water run off contains harmful chemicals from factories such water nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates and phosphates are used to fertilize plants. However when these substances get into water they cause algae growths which can have negative effects on aquatic life.


Water - water pollution can come from water itself. There are many types of water pollution, such as water acidity and water salinity. Water acidity is caused by the amount of carbon dioxide in water. This causes the water to be corrosive to most aquatic species' shells and exoskeletons. Not only this but water salinity can cause water pollution. It is caused by water run offs from salt water and lakes. When water acidity and water salinity combines, the water will be toxic to most aquatic species survival.



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