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 Causes of Water  Pollution

Our planet Earth is called as a blue planet due to the presence of abundant water on its surface. About 70 percent of the earth’s surface area is covered with water. All living organisms require water to sustain their life. No life is possible without water.

Water pollution is the second most imperative environmental concern along with air pollution. Water pollution makes water unsuitable for the desired use.The main causes of water pollution are by emitting the effluent and other fluids of varying quality directly into the urban water supplies. Based on the effluent and contaminant sources, causes of water pollution are generally been categories into two categories.

 All the effluent emitted from the different factories, refineries, waste treatment and other plants are categorized into direct contaminant sources. 

The contaminants or the effluents that enter the water supply from underground water systems, atmospheric contaminants and from rain water are categorized into indirect contaminant sources.

The contaminants of water pollution also includes both organic and inorganic factors.

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What causes water pollution

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 Listed below are a few cause of water pollution.
  1.  Sewage collected from the house, factories and other industries like chemicals, pharmaceutical, etc.
  2. Throwing all the solid wastes by humans in rivers, lakes and oceans. It also includes cardboard, other plastic goods, etc.
  3.  Droppings or spilling of fuel from boats and ships.
  4. Acid rain also pollutes the water. 
  5. Throwing the bodies of dead animals in lakes and rivers.
  6. Washing vehicles, animals, clothes in riverside also pollutes the water as the detergents used for cleaning contains chemicals.
The other cause of water pollution includes:
Global warming

Global warming is an increase in average temperature of the earth’s surface, which is caused by the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse effect includes gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane that are released into the atmosphere during the burning of fossil fuel. These gases get collected into the Earth’s atmosphere and results in the rise of the global temperature.

Global warming is also a cause for the water pollution directly by increasing the temperature of water, which results in the death of many aquatic animals and marine species.

Atmospheric deposition
Atmospheric deposition is also a cause for the water pollution directly affected by air pollution.
Atmospheric deposition is the process of polluting the water bodies by the presence of toxic substance present in polluted air. Polluted air includes the combination of gases like carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which later gets mixed up with a water vapors present in the air and form a toxic substance that falls to the ground in the form of acid rain. The toxins present in the acid rain get washed away into the water bodies, which contaminates the pure water and affects many aquatic animals and other marine species.

Leaking underground storage tanks

Leaking underground storage tanks is also a cause for the water pollution directly by polluting the pure water by leakages of fuels stored in metal tanks.

There are many underground metal and steel storage tanks, mainly constructed for storing highly flammable liquid products which are harmful to the surrounding environment such as petroleum and other fuels. These underground tanks may rust and begin to leak. These leakages of fuels may contaminate water and affect many aquatic animals and other marine species living in the water bodies.

Oil pollution

Oil pollution is also a severe cause for the water pollution directly by polluting the pure water. As oil is insoluble in water and when it gets mixed with water it forms a thick sludge.

There are many ships and other tankers routinely moving in large oceans and seas. Oil pollution is caused by the oil spills from routine moving of oil tankers, ships, dumping and other accidents which takes place in or near by the water bodies. Oil pollution contaminates pure water and affects aquatic animals by causing suffocation and aquatic plants by blocking the entry of light for photosynthesis.

There was an accident on Ao Prao Beach at Samet Island in Rayong, a city in Thailand, which took place on 31st of July 2013. During this accident around 50,000 liters of crude oil was spilled into the sea from a pipeline unloading an oil tanker around 20 kilometers off the coast .The complete  Ao Phrao Beach, which was famous for its white sand and clear water turned black oily mess.

Radioactive waste
Radioactive wastes are also referred as radio hazardous. They are the wastes containing radioactive chemical elements, which do not have a practical purpose. These wastes come from a number of sources, such as nuclear fuel cycle, nuclear weapon reprocessing industries, medical and other scientific processes. This includes wastes like naturally occurring radioactive metals, wastes emitted from nuclear fuel cycles, etc.

A radioactive waste is also a severe cause for the water pollution directly by polluting the pure water. Radioactive wastes typically comprises a number of radioisotopes, which have an unstable configuration of elements that decay by emitting  ionizing radiations, which can be harmful to both human health and to the environment.

Industrial waste

The wastes produced from the industries are a huge source of water pollution. These wastes are very harmful to both the human health and to the environment.
There are many industries, which uses fresh and pure water bodies for dumping all the waste away from the plant. The chemicals and other toxic pollutants emitted from the industries includes toxins like lead, mercury, sulphur, asbestos, nitrates and other chemicals that are very harmful and can lead to serious health hazards.

Marine dumping

It is the practice of dumping of litter into the water bodies. They are very harmful and they not only result in water pollution but also harm many aquatic animals.
The marine dumping includes waste like cardboards, papers, plastic goods, glass, aluminum, rubber, etc. They take weeks and years together to decompose.

Sewage and waste water
Sewage and waste water are the pollutants released by many household, agricultural run-off, etc. These organic pollutants when discharged into fresh waters bodies increase the growth of algae which results in low oxygen levels and causes harm to the aquatic animals. 

The rain water is a major source of sewage and waste water.  The rain water washes away human excreta and animal dung, fertilizers, pesticides and other excrete into rivers, ponds and lakes and pollute the pure water bodies. Using this polluted water cause several water-borne diseases.

How to prevent water pollution

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There are different methods which can be followed to prevent and to reduce water from various pollutants.
Listed below are few technique used to prevent and to reduce water pollution.
  • Avoid throwing or dumping wastes into the water bodies and practice of dumping wastes into waste bins.
  • Save water to reduce water pollution.
  • Avoid throwing oil, paints and other litter things into the water bodies.
  • A strict action needs to be taken against those who do not follow the same.
  • All industries should have a separate tank for the discarding the industrial wastes.
  • There should be proper methods of garbage disposal instead of dumping into the water bodies.
  • Every resident should have a proper septic tank and keeping it clean.
  • Everyone should be aware of pollution and its effects to the environment.
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