Sie sind auf Seite 1von 27

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater).

Water pollution occurs whenpollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individualspecies and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. Introduction

Millions depend on the polluted Gangesriver Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels (international down to individual aquifers and wells). It has been suggested [1][2] that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of [2] more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and [3] 1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of China's cities suffer from some [4] [5] degree of water pollution, and nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well. In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of assessed stream miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of [6] assessed bay and estuarine square miles were classified as polluted. Water is typically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminants and either does not support a human use, such asdrinking water, and/or undergoes a marked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquakes also cause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water. Categories Surface water and groundwater have often been studied and managed as separate resources, although [7] they are interrelated. Surface water seeps through the soil and becomes groundwater. Conversely, groundwater can also feed surface water sources. Sources of surface water pollution are generally grouped into two categories based on their origin.

[edit]Point sources

Point source pollution Shipyard Rio de Janeiro. Point source water pollution refers to contaminants that enter a waterway from a single, identifiable sourcesm, such as a pipe or ditch. Examples of sources in this category include discharges from a sewage treatment plant, a factory, or a city storm drain. The U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) defines point [8] source for regulatory enforcement purposes. The CWA definition of point source was amended in 1987 to include municipal storm sewer systems, as well as industrial stormwater, such as from construction [9] sites. [edit]Nonpoint sources Nonpoint source pollution refers to diffuse contamination that does not originate from a single discrete source. NPS pollution is often the cumulative effect of small amounts of contaminants gathered from a large area. A common example is the leaching out of nitrogen compounds from fertilized agricultural lands. Nutrient runoff in stormwater from "sheet flow" over an agricultural field or a forest are also cited as examples of NPS pollution. Contaminated storm water washed off of parking lots, roads and highways, called urban runoff, is sometimes included under the category of NPS pollution. However, this runoff is typically channeled into storm drain systems and discharged through pipes to local surface waters, and is a point source. However where such water is not channeled and drains directly to ground it is a non-point source. [edit]Groundwater pollution See also: Hydrogeology Interactions between groundwater and surface water are complex. Consequently, groundwater pollution, sometimes referred to as groundwater contamination, is not as easily classified as surface water [7] pollution. By its very nature, groundwater aquifers are susceptible to contamination from sources that may not directly affect surface water bodies, and the distinction of point vs. non-point source may be irrelevant. A spill or ongoing releases of chemical or radionuclide contaminants into soil (located away from a surface water body) may not create point source or non-point source pollution, but can contaminate the aquifer below, defined as a toxin plume. The movement of the plume, called a plume front, may be analyzed through a hydrological transport model or groundwater model. Analysis of groundwater contamination may focus on the soil characteristics and site geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, and the nature of the contaminants.

[edit]Causes The specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide spectrum of chemicals, pathogens, and physical or sensory changes such as elevated temperature and discoloration. While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated may be naturally occurring (calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, etc.) the concentration is often the key in determining what is a natural component of water, and what is a contaminant. High concentrations of naturally-occurring substances can have negative impacts on aquatic flora and fauna. Oxygen-depleting substances may be natural materials, such as plant matter (e.g. leaves and grass) as well as man-made chemicals. Other natural and anthropogenic substances may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light and disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish [10] species. Many of the chemical substances are toxic. Pathogens can produce waterborne diseases in either human [11] or animal hosts. Alteration of water's physical chemistry includes acidity (change in pH), electrical conductivity, temperature, and eutrophication. Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an ecosystem to an extent that increases in the primary productivity of the ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative environmental effects such as anoxia (oxygen depletion) and severe reductions in water quality may occur, affecting fish and other animal populations. [edit]Pathogens

A manhole cover unable to contain asanitary sewer overflow. Coliform bacteria are a commonly used bacterial indicator of water pollution, although not an actual cause of disease. Other microorganismssometimes found in surface waters which have caused human health problems include: Burkholderia pseudomallei Cryptosporidium parvum Giardia lamblia Salmonella Novovirus and other viruses Parasitic worms (helminths).

High levels of pathogens may result from inadequately treated sewage discharges. This can be caused by a sewage plant designed with less than secondary treatment (more typical in less-developed countries). In developed countries, older cities with aging infrastructure may have leaky sewage collection systems (pipes, pumps, valves), which can cause sanitary sewer overflows. Some cities also [15] have combined sewers, which may discharge untreated sewage during rain storms. Pathogen discharges may also be caused by poorly managed livestock operations. [edit]Chemical and other contaminants


Muddy river polluted by sediment. Photo courtesy of United States Geological Survey. Contaminants may include organic and inorganic substances. Organic water pollutants include: Detergents Disinfection by-products found in chemically disinfected drinking water, such as chloroform Food processing waste, which can include oxygen-demanding substances, fats and grease Insecticides and herbicides, a huge range of organohalides and other chemical compounds Petroleum hydrocarbons, including fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels, and fuel oil) and lubricants [16] (motor oil), and fuel combustionbyproducts, from stormwater runoff Tree and bush debris from logging operations Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as industrial solvents, from improper storage. Chlorinated solvents, which are dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), may fall to the bottom of reservoirs, since they don't mix well with water and are denser. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) Trichloroethylene

Perchlorate Various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products

A garbage collection boom in an urban-area stream in Auckland, New Zealand. Inorganic water pollutants include: Acidity caused by industrial discharges (especially sulfur dioxide from power plants) Ammonia from food processing waste Chemical waste as industrial by-products Fertilizers containing nutrients--nitrates and phosphateswhich are found in stormwater runoff from [16] agriculture, as well as commercial and residential use Heavy metals from motor vehicles (via urban stormwater runoff)

and acid mine drainage

Silt (sediment) in runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or land clearing sites

Macroscopic Pollution in Parks Milwaukee, WI Macroscopic pollutionlarge visible items polluting the watermay be termed "floatables" in an urban stormwater context, or marine debriswhen found on the open seas, and can include such items as: Trash or garbage (e.g. paper, plastic, or food waste) discarded by people on the ground, along with accidental or intentional dumping of rubbish, that are washed by rainfall into storm drains and eventually discharged into surface waters Nurdles, small ubiquitous waterborne plastic pellets Shipwrecks, large derelict ships

[edit]Thermal pollution Main article: Thermal pollution

Potrero Generating Stationdischarges heated water into San Francisco Bay.


Thermal pollution is the rise or fall in the temperature of a natural body of water caused by human influence. Thermal pollution, unlike chemical pollution, results in a change in the physical properties of water. A common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant bypower plants and industrial manufacturers. Elevated water temperatures decreases oxygen levels (which can kill fish) and affects ecosystemcomposition, such as invasion by new thermophilic species. Urban runoff may also elevate temperature in surface waters. Thermal pollution can also be caused by the release of very cold water from the base of reservoirs into warmer rivers. [edit]Transport and chemical reactions of water pollutants See also: Marine pollution Most water pollutants are eventually carried by rivers into the oceans. In some areas of the world the influence can be traced hundred miles from the mouth by studies using hydrology transport models. Advanced computer models such as SWMM or the DSSAM Model have been used in many locations worldwide to examine the fate of pollutants in aquatic systems. Indicator filter feeding species such as copepods have also been used to study pollutant fates in the New York Bight, for example. The highest toxin loads are not directly at the mouth of the Hudson River, but 100 kilometers south, since several days are required for incorporation into planktonic tissue. The Hudson discharge flows south along the coast due to coriolis force. Further south then are areas of oxygen depletion, caused by chemicals using up oxygen and by algae blooms, caused by excess nutrients from algal cell death and decomposition. Fish and shellfish kills have been reported, because toxins climb the food chain after small fish consume copepods, then large fish eat smaller fish, etc. Each successive step up the food chain causes a stepwise concentration of pollutants such as heavy metals (e.g.mercury) and persistent organic pollutants such as DDT. This is known as biomagnification, which is occasionally used interchangeably with bioaccumulation.

A polluted river draining an abandoned copper mine on Anglesey Large gyres (vortexes) in the oceans trap floating plastic debris. The North Pacific Gyre for example has collected the so-called "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" that is now estimated at 100 times the size of Texas. Many of these long-lasting pieces wind up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals. This results in obstruction of digestive pathways which leads to reduced appetite or even starvation. Many chemicals undergo reactive decay or chemically change especially over long periods of time in groundwaterreservoirs. A noteworthy class of such chemicals is the chlorinated hydrocarbons such as trichloroethylene (used in industrial metal degreasing and electronics manufacturing) and tetrachloroethylene used in the dry cleaning industry (note latest advances in liquid carbon dioxide in dry cleaning that avoids all use of chemicals). Both of these chemicals, which are carcinogens themselves, undergo partial decomposition reactions, leading to new hazardous chemicals (including dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride). Groundwater pollution is much more difficult to abate than surface pollution because groundwater can move great distances through unseen aquifers. Non-porous aquifers such as clays partially purify water of bacteria by simple filtration (adsorption and absorption), dilution, and, in some cases, chemical reactions and biological activity: however, in some cases, the pollutants merely transform to soil contaminants. Groundwater that moves through cracks and caverns is not filtered and can be transported as easily as surface water. In fact, this can be aggravated by the human tendency to use natural sinkholes as dumps in areas of Karst topography. There are a variety of secondary effects stemming not from the original pollutant, but a derivative condition. An example is silt-bearing surface runoff, which can inhibit the penetration of sunlight through the water column, hampering photosynthesis in aquatic plants. [edit]Measurement

Environmental Scientists preparing water autosamplers. Water pollution may be analyzed through several broad categories of methods: physical, chemical and biological. Most involve collection of samples, followed by specialized analytical tests. Some methods may be conducted in situ, without sampling, such as temperature. Government agencies and research organizations have published standardized, validated analytical test methods to facilitate the [19] comparability of results from disparate testing events. [edit]Sampling Sampling of water for physical or chemical testing can be done by several methods, depending on the accuracy needed and the characteristics of the contaminant. Many contamination events are sharply restricted in time, most commonly in association with rain events. For this reason "grab" samples are often inadequate for fully quantifying contaminant levels. Scientists gathering this type of data often employ auto-sampler devices that pump increments of water at either time or discharge intervals. Sampling for biological testing involves collection of plants and/or animals from the surface water body. Depending on the type of assessment, the organisms may be identified for biosurveys (population counts) and returned to the water body, or they may be dissected for bioassays to determine toxicity. Further information: Water quality#Sampling and Measurement [edit]Physical testing Common physical tests of water include temperature, solids concentrations (e.g., total suspended solids (TSS)) and turbidity. [edit]Chemical testing See also: water chemistry analysis and environmental chemistry Water samples may be examined using the principles of analytical chemistry. Many published test methods are available for both organic and inorganic compounds. Frequently used methods [20] [21] include pH, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nutrients (nitrate and phosphorus compounds), metals (including copper, zinc,cadmium, lead and mercury), oil and grease, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and pesticides. [edit]Biological testing Main article: Bioindicator

Biological testing involves the use of plant, animal, and/or microbial indicators to monitor the health of an aquatic ecosystem. For microbial testing of drinking water, see Bacteriological water analysis. [edit]Control of pollution [edit]Domestic sewage Main article: Sewage treatment

Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plantserving Boston, Massachusetts and vicinity. Domestic sewage is 99.9 percent pure water, while the other 0.1 percent are pollutants. Although [22] found in low concentrations, these pollutants pose risk on a large scale. In urban areas, domestic sewage is typically treated by centralized sewage treatment plants. In the U.S., most of these plants are operated by local government agencies, frequently referred to as publicly owned treatment works (POTW). Municipal treatment plants are designed to control conventional pollutants: BOD and suspended solids. Well-designed and operated systems (i.e., secondary treatment or better) can remove 90 percent or more of these pollutants. Some plants have additional sub-systems to treat nutrients and pathogens. Most municipal plants are not designed to treat toxic pollutants found in [23] industrial wastewater. Cities with sanitary sewer overflows or combined sewer overflows employ one or more engineering approaches to reduce discharges of untreated sewage, including: utilizing a green infrastructure approach to improve stormwater management capacity throughout [24] the system, and reduce the hydraulicoverloading of the treatment plant repair and replacement of leaking and malfunctioning equipment

increasing overall hydraulic capacity of the sewage collection system (often a very expensive option).

A household or business not served by a municipal treatment plant may have an individual septic tank, which treats the wastewater on site and discharges into the soil. Alternatively, domestic wastewater may be sent to a nearby privately owned treatment system (e.g. in a rural community). [edit]Industrial wastewater Main article: Industrial wastewater treatment

Dissolved air flotation system for treating industrial wastewater. Some industrial facilities generate ordinary domestic sewage that can be treated by municipal facilities. Industries that generate wastewater with high concentrations of conventional pollutants (e.g. oil and grease), toxic pollutants (e.g. heavy metals, volatile organic compounds) or other nonconventional pollutants such as ammonia, need specialized treatment systems. Some of these facilities can install a pre-treatment system to remove the toxic components, and then send the partially-treated wastewater to the municipal system. Industries generating large volumes of wastewater typically operate their own complete on-site treatment systems. Some industries have been successful at redesigning their manufacturing processes to reduce or eliminate pollutants, through a process calledpollution prevention. Heated water generated by power plants or manufacturing plants may be controlled with: cooling ponds, man-made bodies of water designed for cooling by evaporation, convection, and radiation cooling towers, which transfer waste heat to the atmosphere through evaporation and/or heat transfer cogeneration, a process where waste heat is recycled for domestic and/or industrial heating [25] purposes.

[edit]Agricultural wastewater Main article: Agricultural wastewater treatment

Riparian buffer lining a creek inIowa Nonpoint source controls Sediment (loose soil) washed off fields is the largest source of agricultural pollution in the United [10] States. Farmers may utilize erosion controls to reduce runoff flows and retain soil on their fields. Common techniques include contour plowing, crop mulching, crop rotation, planting perennial crops [26][27]:pp. 4-954-96 and installing riparian buffers. Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are typically applied to farmland as commercial fertilizer; animal manure; or spraying of municipal or industrial wastewater (effluent) or sludge. Nutrients may [27]:p. 2also enter runoff from crop residues, irrigation water, wildlife, and atmospheric deposition. 9 Farmers can develop and implement nutrient management plans to reduce excess application of [26][27]:pp. 4-374-38 nutrients. To minimize pesticide impacts, farmers may use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques (which can include biological pest control) to maintain control over pests, reduce reliance on chemical [28] pesticides, and protect water quality.

Feedlot in the United States Point source wastewater treatment Farms with large livestock and poultry operations, such as factory farms, are called concentrated animal feeding operations or feedlots in the US and are being subject to increasing government [29][30] regulation. Animal slurries are usually treated by containment in anaerobic lagoons before disposal by spray or trickle application to grassland. Constructed wetlands are sometimes used to facilitate treatment of animal wastes. Some animal slurries are treated by mixing with straw and composted at high temperature to produce a bacteriologically sterile and friable manure for soil improvement.

[edit]Construction site stormwater

Silt fence installed on a construction site. Sediment from construction sites is managed by installation of: erosion controls, such as mulching and hydroseeding, and sediment controls, such as sediment basins and silt fences.

Discharge of toxic chemicals such as motor fuels and concrete washout is prevented by use of: spill prevention and control plans, and specially designed containers (e.g. for concrete washout) and structures such as overflow [32] controls and diversion berms.

[edit]Urban runoff (stormwater) Main article: Urban runoff See also: Green infrastructure

Retention basin for controlling urban runoff Effective control of urban runoff involves reducing the velocity and flow of stormwater, as well as reducing pollutant discharges. Local governments use a variety of stormwater management techniques to reduce the effects of urban runoff. These techniques, called best management

practices (BMPs) in the U.S., may focus on water quantity control, while others focus on improving [33] water quality, and some perform both functions. Pollution prevention practices include low-impact development techniques, installation of green roofs and improved chemical handling (e.g. management of motor fuels & oil, fertilizers and [34] pesticides). Runoff mitigation systems include infiltration basins, bioretention systems, constructed [35][36] wetlands, retention basins and similar devices. Thermal pollution from runoff can be controlled by stormwater management facilities that absorb the runoff or direct it into groundwater, such as bioretention systems and infiltration basins. Retention basins tend to be less effective at reducing temperature, as the water may be heated by the sun [33]:p. 5-58 before being discharged to a receiving stream.

Water pollution is an undesirable change in the state of water, contaminated with harmful substances. It is the second most important environmental issue next to air pollution. Any change in the physical, chemical and biological properties of water that has a harmful effect on living things is water pollution. It affects all the major water bodies of the world such as lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater. Pollution of the water bodies disturbs the ecosystem as a whole. Polluted water is not only unsafe for drinking and other consumption purposes, but it is also unsuitable for agricultural and industrial uses. The effects of water pollution are detrimental to human beings, plants, animals, fish and birds. Polluted water also contains virus, bacteria, intestinal parasites and other pathogenic microorganisms. Using it for drinking purpose is the prime cause for waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid. What are the Sources of Water Pollution? The important sources of water pollution are domestic wastes, industrial effluents and agricultural wastes. Other sources include oil spills, atmospheric deposition, marine dumping, radioactive waste, global warming and eutrophication. Among these, domestic waste (domestic sewage) and industrial waste generate maximum pollutants, which make their way to groundwater and surface water bodies. Domestic Sewage: Domestic sewage is wastewater generated from household activities. It contains organic and inorganic materials such as phosphates and nitrates. Organic materials are food and vegetable waste, whereas inorganic materials come from soaps and detergents. Usually people dump household wastes in the nearby water source, which leads to water pollution. The amount of organic wastes that can be degraded by the water bodies is measured in terms of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD). BOD is nothing but the amount of oxygen needed by microorganisms to decompose the organic waste present in the sewage. The higher the amount of BOD, the more water is polluted with organic waste and vice versa. Many people are not aware of the fact that soaps and detergents enrich the water bodies with phosphates. These phosphates often lead to algal bloom and eutrophication, which are common problems in stagnant water bodies such as ponds and lakes. Algal bloom and eutrophication lead to the suffocation of fish and other organism in a water body.

Industrial Effluents: Wastewater from the manufacturing and processing industries causes water pollution. The industrial effluents contain organic pollutants and other toxic chemicals. Some of the pollutants from industrial source include lead, mercury, asbestos, nitrates, phosphates, oils, etc. Wastewater from food and chemical processing industries contribute more to water pollution than the other industries such as distillery, leather processing industries and thermal power plants. Also, dye industries generate wastewater which changes the water quality especially water color. Since the water color is changed, there is alteration in the light penetration, thereby disturbing the aquatic plants and animals. Many of the big industries have come up with wastewater treatment plants. However, it is not the case with small-scale industries. It is very difficult to treat wastewater from the industries. Let's take the example of Minamata disease in which more than 1,784 people died and many more suffered due to consumption of fish, contaminated with methyl mercury. It was caused by release of methyl mercury from Chisso Corporation's chemical factory. The disease continued to affect animals and humans for over 30 years, from 1932 to 1968. Agricultural Waste: Agricultural waste include manure, slurry and sewage runoffs. Most of the agricultural farms use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The runoffs from these agricultural fields cause water pollution to the nearby water sources such as rivers, streams and lakes. The seepage of fertilizers and pesticides causes groundwater pollution, which is commonly known as leaching. Although the quantity of agricultural waste is low, the effects are highly significant. It causes nutrient and organic pollution to both water and soil. Nutrient pollution causes an increase in the nitrates and phosphates in the water bodies, which again leads to eutrophication. Depending upon the origin, sources of water pollution are classified as point source and non-point source. Point source pollution discharges the harmful waste directly into water bodies, for example, disposal through wastewater treatment plants. On the other hand, non-point source pollution delivers indirectly through other ways, for example, water pollution from acid rain. How to Prevent Water Pollution? Although 71% of earth's surface is covered with water bodies, we don't have enough water to drink. Many researches have been done on water purification systems in order to have safe drinking water. However, there are about 1 billion people, who don't have proper excess to drinking water. Therefore, water needs to be conserved and prevent from pollution in order to make it safe for drinking and other consumption purposes. Reducing the amount of water use can help conserve water as well as save money. The effective way to prevent water pollution is to include eco-friendly household products such as lowphosphate detergents and other toiletries, improving housekeeping, turning off the water tap when not in use, disposing the household wastes in proper sites far away from the water sources, etc. Last but not the least, planting more trees can also prevent water pollution by reducing soil erosion and water runoff. Educating people about water pollution is an important approach to reduce water contamination.

What is water pollution? Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses or lives (in) it. When humans drink polluted water it often has serious effects on their health. Water pollution can also make water unsuited for the desired use. What are the major water pollutants? There are several classes of water pollutants. The first are disease-causing agents. These are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms that enter sewage systems and untreated waste. A second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes; wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are converting these wastes it can deplete oxygen levels in the water. This causes other organisms in the water, such as fish, to die. A third class of water pollutants is water-soluble inorganic pollutants, such as acids, salts and toxic metals. Large quantities of these compounds will make water unfit to drink and will cause the death of aquatic life. Another class of water pollutants are nutrients; they are water-soluble nitrates and phosphates that cause excessive growth of algae and other water plants, which deplete the water's oxygen supply. This kills fish and, when found in drinking water, can kill young children. Water can also be polluted by a number of organic compounds such as oil, plastics and pesticides, which are harmful to humans and all plants and animals in the water. A very dangerous category is suspended sediment, because it causes depletion in the water's light absorption and the particles spread dangerous compounds such as pesticides through the water. Finally, water-soluble radioactive compounds can cause cancer, birth defects and genetic damage and are thus very dangerous water pollutants.

More information on health effects of microrganisms Where does water pollution come from? Water pollution is usually caused by human activities. Different human sources add to the pollution of water. There are two sorts of sources, point and nonpoint sources. Point sources discharge pollutants at specific locations through pipelines or sewers into the surface water. Nonpoint sources are sources that cannot be traced to a single site of discharge. Examples of point sources are: factories, sewage treatment plants, underground mines, oil wells, oil tankers and agriculture. Examples of nonpoint sources are: acid deposition from the air, traffic, pollutants that are spread through rivers and pollutants that enter the water through groundwater. Nonpoint pollution is hard to control because the perpetrators cannot be traced.

How do we detect water pollution? Water pollution is detected in laboratories, where small samples of water are analysed for different contaminants. Living organisms such as fish can also be used for the detection of water pollution. Changes in their behaviour or growth show us, that the water they live in is polluted. Specific properties of these organisms can give information on the sort of pollution in their environment. Laboratories also use computer models to determine what dangers there can be in certain waters. They import the data they own on the water into the computer, and the computer then determines if the water has any impurities. What is heat pollution, what causes it and what are the dangers? In most manufacturing processes a lot of heat originates that must be released into the environment, because it is waste heat. The cheapest way to do this is to withdraw nearby surface water, pass it through the plant, and return the heated water to the body of surface water. The heat that is released in the water has negative effects on all life in the receiving surface water. This is the kind of pollution that is commonly known as heat pollution or thermal pollution. The warmer water decreases the solubility of oxygen in the water and it also causes water organisms to breathe faster. Many water organisms will then die from oxygen shortages, or they become more susceptible to diseases. For more information about this, you can take a look at thermal pollution. What is eutrophication, what causes it and what are the dangers? Eutrophication means natural nutrient enrichment of streams and lakes. The enrichment is often increased by human activities, such as agriculture (manure addition). Over time, lakes then become eutrophic due to an increase in nutrients. Eutrophication is mainly caused by an increase in nitrate and phosphate levels and has a negative influence on water life. This is because, due to the enrichment, water plants such as algae will grow extensively. As a result the water will absorb less light and certain aerobic bacteria will become more active. These bacteria deplete oxygen levels even further, so that only anaerobic bacteria can be active. This makes life in the water impossible for fish and other organisms. What is acid rain and how does it develop? Typical rainwater has a pH of about 5 to 6. This means that it is naturally a neutral, slightly acidic liquid. During precipitation rainwater dissolves gasses such as carbon dioxide and oxygen. The industry now emits great amounts of acidifying gasses, such as sulphuric oxides and carbon monoxide. These gasses also dissolve in rainwater. This causes a change in pH of the precipitation the pH of rain will fall to a value of or below 4. When a substance has a pH of below 6.5, it is acid. The lower the pH, the more acid

the substance is. That is why rain with a lower pH, due to dissolved industrial emissions, is called acid rain. Why does water sometimes smell like rotten eggs? When water is enriched with nutrients, eventually anaerobic bacteria, which do not need oxygen to practice their functions, will become highly active. These bacteria produce certain gasses during their activities. One of these gases is hydrogen sulphide. This compounds smells like rotten eggs. When water smells like rotten eggs we can conclude that there is hydrogen present, due to a shortage of oxygen in the specific water. What causes white deposit on showers and bathroom walls? Water contains many compounds. A few of these compounds are calcium and carbonate. Carbonate works as a buffer in water and is thus a very important component. When calcium reacts with carbonate a solid substance is formed, that is called lime. This lime is what causes the white deposit on showers and bathroom walls and is commonly known as lime deposit. It can be removed by using a specially suited cleaning agent.

Read more:

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. Direct sources include effluent outfalls from factories, refineries, waste treatment plants etc.. that emit fluids of varying quality directly into urban water supplies. In the United States and other countries, these practices are regulated, although this doesn't mean that pollutants can't be found in these waters. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain water. Soils and groundwaters contain the residue of human agricultural practices (fertilizers, pesticides, etc..) and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived from human practices (such as gaseous emissions from automobiles, factories and even bakeries). Contaminants can be broadly classified into organic, inorganic, radioactive and acid/base. Examples from each class and their potential sources are too numerous to discuss here. b)What are the effects of water pollution? The effects of water pollution are varied. They include poisonous drinking water, poisionous food animals (due to these organisms having bioaccumulated toxins from the environment over their life spans), unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects. These effects are, of course, specific to the various contaminants.

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. All of these solutions come with some cost (both societal and monetary). In our everyday lives, 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. Additionally, there are choices we make each day that also can affect the quantity of pollutants our actions will introduce into the environment. Heavily packaged foods, for instance, contain boxes, cartons, bottles etc.. made with polluting dyes, many of which are released from groundwater at municipal land fills. 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). In the end, 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. Our standard of living and very way of life is based upon practices which are inherently "dirtier" than those of our distant ancestors, although they too polluted their environment to some extent. Without taking a step backward in terms of our standards of living, the answer seems to lie in a combination of many small changes in our daily practices and paying more for goods and services, so that manufacturers of various materials and drivers of automobiles (for instance) will have cleaner devices with which to conduct their activities. Dr. Ken Rubin, Assistant Professor Department of Geology and Geophysics University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822

Types of water pollution Water pollution is caused, when toxic substances enter lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, and other water bodies. Water pollution deteriorates the quality of water. Water pollution through solid and industrial wastes is the main cause of lead contamination. Indications of lead poisoning may vary but has been observed to be related to stunted growth, learning disabilities, and anti-social behaviors of children. Water pollution is the result of human activities as almost any human activity can have effect on water quality. Contamination of lakes, rivers, and oceans happens every day threatening animals and plants that live in these water bodies. Water pollution remains a concern, and live pearl farmers to take several steps to ensure clean water the oysters. After the accounts have the potential to develop fully, will be collected. Water pollution poses and additional threat, due to the sea eagles' reliance on fish bearing pollutants in their flesh, which then bio-accumulates at even greater levels in the eagles' systems. Water pollution and soil erosion occur. Habitat and climate are negatively impacted. Water pollution control is most appropriately addressed at the watershed level. As the saying goes, everyone lives upstream of somewhere else. Water pollution is an even greater problem in the Third World, where millions of people obtain water for drinking and sanitation from unprotected streams and ponds that are contaminated with human waste. This type of contamination has been estimated to cause more than 3 million deaths annually from diarrhea in Third World countries, most of them children. Water pollution may be analyzed through several broad categories of methods: physical, chemical and biological. Most involve collection of samples, followed by specialized analytical tests. Causes and effects of water pollution Water pollution affects drinking water, rivers, lakes and oceans all over the world. This consequently harms human health and the natural environment. Water pollution has many causes and characteristics. Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, earthquakes, runoff, decay of vegetation and oil seeps can cause changes in water quality and the ecological status of water. Water pollution is any contamination of water with chemicals or other foreign substances that are detrimental to human, plant, or animal health. These pollutants include fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural runoff; sewage and food processing waste; lead, mercury, and other heavy metals; chemical wastes from industrial discharges; and chemical contamination from hazardous waste sites. Water pollution can come from a number of different sources. If the pollution comes from a single source, such as an oil spill, it is called point-source pollution. Water pollution can be defined as anything humans do to cause harmful effects to our bodies of water. This can include pollution of rivers, lakes, oceans, and ground water pollution. Water pollution questions. What is water pollution? What are the major water pollutants? What are the properties and dangers of water pollutants . Water pollution affects drinking water, rivers, lakes and oceans all over the world. This consequently harms human health and the natural environment. Water pollution may be analyzed through several broad categories of methods: physical, chemical and biological. Most involve collection of samples, followed by specialized analytical tests.

Water pollution has many different causes and this is one of the reasons why it is such a difficult problem to solve. Water pollution is usually caused by human activities. Different human sources add to the pollution of water. Water pollution is a subject of growing public concern. The scientific community has responded very rapidly to the need for studies capable of relating the pollutant discharge with changes in the water quality. Water pollution has many sources. The most polluting of them are the city sewage and industrial waste discharged into the rivers. Water Pollution is a very serious issue.

Information Articles: Causes of land pollution Land pollution Poems about pollution Effects of water pollution Causes of water pollution

Types of water pollution

a river pollution

to stop water pollution

Light pollution

Water pollution pictures al dumps

What causes water pollution

er in kentucky

Minnesota pollution control agency

What is water pollution

Water pollution graphs

Farm fertilizers pollution

Causes And Effects Of Water Pollution Related Articles Causes And Effects Of Air Pollution Causes And Effects Of Ocean Pollution Causes And Effects Of Land Pollution Causes And Effects Of Noise Pollution Effects Of Water Pollution Water pollution has been seriously affecting the life of humans, plants as well as animals. The ecosystem of rivers, streams, lakes, seas and oceans is also getting deteriorated due to the contamination of water, through various sources. This condition also leads to the outbreak of numerous diseases, majority of them being lethal and contagious. However, before going about finding a solution to the problem, we need to look into its underlying causes. In the following lines, we have provided information on the causes and harmful effects of water pollution. Go through them and then decide on your course of action.

Sources Of Water Pollution Dumping of industrial wastes, containing heavy metals, harmful chemicals, by-products, organic toxins and oils, into the nearby source of water is one of the visible causes of water pollution. Another cause for the contamination of water is the improper disposal of human and animal wastes. Effluents from factories, refineries, injection wells and sewage treatment plants are dumped into urban water supplies, leading to water pollution. A number of pollutants, both harmful and poisonous, enter the groundwater systems through rain water. The residue of agricultural practices, including fertilizers and pesticides, are some of the major sources of water pollution. Untreated pollutants are drained into the nearest water body, such as stream, lake or harbor, causing water pollution. Another major source of water pollution comprises of organic farm wastes. When farm land, treated with pesticides and fertilizers, is irrigated, the excess nitrogen and poisons get mixed into the water supply, thereby contaminating it. Pathogens, sediments and chemical pollutants are other sources of water pollution.

The corporeal wastes produced by humans and farmed organisms pollute rivers, lakes, oceans and other surface waters.

Harmful Effects Of Water Pollution A number of waterborne diseases are produced by the pathogens present in polluted water, affecting humans and animals alike. Pollution affects the chemistry of water. The pollutants, including toxic chemicals, can alter the acidity, conductivity and temperature of water. Polluted municipal water supplies are found to pose a threat to the health of people using them. As per the records, about 14000 people perish or incur various communicable diseases due to the consumption of contaminated drinking water. The concentration of bacteria and viruses in polluted water causes increase in solids suspended in the water body, which, in turn, leads to health problems. Marine life becomes deteriorated due to water pollution. Lethal killing of fish and aquatic plants in rivers, oceans and seas is an aftereffect of water contamination only. Diseases affecting the heart, poor circulation of blood and the nervous system and ailments like skin lesion, cholera and diarrhea are often linked to the harmful effects of water pollution. Carcinogenic pollutants found in polluted water might cause cancer. Alteration in the chromosomal makeup of the future generation is foreseen, as a result of water pollution. Discharges from power stations reduce the availability of oxygen in the water body, in which they are dumped. The flora and fauna of rivers, sea and oceans is adversely affected by water pollution.

Effects of Water Pollution & Solutions

The effects of water pollution strongly impact the balance of nature, which ultimately impacts all humans. With proper care and consideration, many of the situations that cause water pollution can be stopped or decreased.

Types of Water Pollution

Without getting too technical, water pollution is a result of various things, but usually leads back to these sources:

Industry Agriculture Homes

Man-made situations are typically the causes of water pollution. Often, its unintended and unknown that actions are contributing to water pollution. Many times its the last thought on someones mind that their actions could significantly impact the environment locally and beyond.

Ways Water is Polluted


There are three main ways that industries contribute to water pollution. They pollute by disposing of waste directly into waterways, emitting toxic gases that cause acid rain and changing the temperature of water with their disposals into waterways.

Direct disposal of waste into natural waterways causes waste to build up within the water. A pungent odor is the result. Additionally, this waste decreases the amount of oxygen in water, causing the death of aquatic animals or other organisms.

The emission of toxic fumes into the air causes acid rain. When the acid rain falls, it contaminates local natural waterways including streams, rivers and lakes. This causes the death of many aquatic animals. Other animals drinking the water may become ill and die, too.

Thermal pollution occurs when water used to cool hot machinery is released into waterways and the temperature of the water is drastically increased. This temperature change may cause aquatic life to die and numbers to be reduced. Additionally, such a temperature increase decreases the amount of oxygen in water, causing more of a chance of death to organisms.

Its common for farmers to use fertilizers and other chemicals on their crops to help them grow. However, these chemicals and nutrients added to the soil can soak into the underground water supplies. Additionally, when it rains, these chemicals join the run-off water and flow into streams, rivers and lakes, thus polluting them. Even just the sediments of dirt, without any chemicals, are pollutants in the fact that they cause the waterways to become cloudy and muddy.

Households are a leading cause of water pollution by the trash they create. Even if taken to landfills, often this trash finds its way to natural waterways. Human waste, disposed of typically by sewers, pollute water. Any time a septic system is not installed properly or bursts beneath the ground, the underground water supply may be polluted. Oils and anti-freeze leaked from vehicles pollute water.

Effects of Water Pollution

There are various effects of water pollution.

Spread of disease: Drinking polluted water can cause cholera or typhoid infections, along with diarrhea. Affects body organs: The consumption of highly contaminated water can cause injury to the heart and kidneys. Harms the food chain: Toxins within water can harm aquatic organisms, thus breaking a link in the food chain. Causes algae in water: Urea, animal manure and vegetable peelings are food for algae. Algae grow according to how much waste is in a water source. Bacteria feed off the algae, decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water. The decreased oxygen causes harm to other organisms living in the water.

Flooding: The erosion of soil into waterways causes flooding, especially with heavy rainfall. Harms animals: Birds that get into oil-contaminated water die from exposure to cold water and air due to feather damage. Other animals are affected when they eat dead fish in contaminated streams.

The effects of water pollution are not always immediate. They are not always seen at the point of contamination. They are sometimes never known by the person responsible for the pollution. However, water pollution has a huge impact on our lives. With knowledge, consideration and preparation, water pollution can be decreased. It doesnt take much effort just a little thought.

Water Pollution Solutions

Water pollution is growing daily around the world, but so are water pollution solutions. Find out what you can do to combat water pollution in your area.

Water Pollution
Water covers more than 70 percent of the Earths surface. While less than 3 percent of this water is drinkable, all of it is necessary for supporting life on Earth. Water pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment today. There are several types of water pollution ranging from sewage and fertilizers to soil erosion. The impact of water pollution on aquatic life and land life can be devastating. Effects of water pollution can include:

Overgrowth of algae and surface life, 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, attempts to clean it up may cause even more harm. Chemicals used to treat or clean up oil spills may further contaminate water supplies. Adjustments in temperature to counteract heat or cooling pollution may not achieve proper balance, leading to more loss of aquatic life.

Preventing water pollution does more for the environment by halting the level of pollutants where they are. This gives the environment needed time to begin to correct itself, and time for scientists to determine the best way to combat existing problems.

Water Pollution Preventions

There are several steps that can be taken to help prevent water pollution from getting worse.

Conserve Soil
Erosion is one of the biggest causes of water pollution today. When you take steps to conserve soil, you are also conserving water and water life. Planting vegetative covers, strict erosion management and implementing beneficial farming methods are just a few of the many possible approaches to soil conservation.

Dispose of Toxic Chemicals Properly

Its always a good idea to use lower VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) products in your home whenever possible. If you do use toxic chemicals, such as paints, stains or cleaning supplies, dispose of them properly. Paints can be recycled and oils can be reused after treatment. Proper disposal keeps these substances out of storm drains, water ways and septic tanks.

Keep Machinery in Good Working Order

Oil is one of the largest polluters of water in the world. Its estimated that just the transportation of oil is responsible for .0001 percent of oil contamination in water. Take steps to ensure you arent adding to this problem by repairing oil leaks in cars and machinery as soon as they are spotted. Clean up the residue and dispose of the used oils properly.

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. Do your part by taking your own trash, other wastes and any you see to a nearby disposal facility.

Avoid Plastics When Possible

Plastic bags in the ocean is a well documented water pollutant. Keep this problem from getting worse by changing to reusable grocery bags whenever possible.

Get Active and Get Involved

Is there a company near your home that releases heat, coolants or chemicals into a nearby waterway? You can get involved. Contact the EPA, local authorities or write letters to the heads of companies. Spreading an awareness of problems is a big first step toward combating them. While water pollution solutions may seem like too little, 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. 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. If you do your part to prevent pollution in your area, then youll be helping to protect aquatic life.