Water is vital to life. We use it for drinking, washing, cooking and a number of other human activities. Two-thirds of the earth’s surface is water, and the irony is that we are facing water scarcity problems today. With the ever-increasing population and pollution, the demand for water has increased and the quantity of usable water has decreased.
Water pollution: The contamination of water bodies such as rivers, lakes, etc. due to several contaminants being discharged in them, directly or indirectly, is known as water pollution. Water pollution has severe and hazardous impacts on our environment. In this article, we will discuss the causes of water pollution.
Causes of Water Pollution
Contaminated water from household, industries, power plants, etc., results in the pollution of water. Usually, they are polluted to the extent that they cause problems for humans and animals.
Some of the major causes of water pollution are listed below.
One of the most severe pollutants is the disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens. Pathogens are mostly bacteria, virus, and protozoa. Although bacteria are considered harmless if not beneficial, there are a few of pathogenic bacteria as well which enter the water bodies through sewers and sanitation systems. The water-borne pathogens cause several diseases such as diarrhea, gastrointestinal illness, etc.
Organic water pollutants include food waste, detergents, leaves, grass, etc. They originate from domestic sewage, discharge from food processing factories and farm wastes which reach the water sources through runoff and pollute them. It is a fact that the bacteria decompose the complex organic matter into the simple organic matter. They consume oxygen which is dissolved in water. As the organic waste content in the water increases so does the count of decomposers. They use up a lot of oxygen which results in the depletion of oxygen content in water. This adversely affects the aquatic life.
Chemical pollutants include heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, etc., solvents from industries, pesticide run-offs, oil spills through ships, etc. They are poisonous to aquatic life forms and cause their infertility and death. The metal wastes are dangerous to humans as well when they get absorbed in our body. They can damage the nervous system, kidney, etc.
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