Many people don’t understand the dramatic effect that water pollution has on them and their environment. Our bodies are composed of over 60% water, and 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water too. Water is extremely important for optimal human health, animal health and marine ecosystems and any pollution can impact all of these natural functions. If we can better understand water contamination effects, then we can make some small daily changes to help solve water pollution.
Domestic and Industrial Sewage
One of the most significant problems that leads to water pollution is sewage from domestic, commercial and industrial sources. Sadly, a great deal of this material is dumped in the sea to pollute the ocean. This is bad enough, but it can be even worse when people flush pharmaceutical materials and chemicals down their toilets.
It’s important to understand that sewage, fertilizers and agricultural runoff, will all contain organic material. When this material is discharged into our water, the growth of algae is increased, and this depletes the oxygen levels. When the oxygen level is sufficiently lowered, there will not be enough oxygen to support local organisms. Eventually, the aquatic fauna and flora in our waterways will begin to die off, and the ecological balance will be damaged.
Solid Material Waste
Another major concern for our water supplies is the dumping of solid waste into our waterways. This is caused by people, businesses and factories that all dump solid waste in a variety of ways. Some people litter, they throw waste items, such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, cardboard containers, and wrappers, into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Some of this human produced litter such as plastic six pack rings and bags can ensnare aquatic animals which could then die from suffocation.
Many factories use freshwater to carry away waste from their plants into our waterways. This contaminates the affected water with a variety of pollutants, such as lead, mercury, asbestos, oil, and petrochemicals. Agricultural operations can also produce a lot of pollution in the form of fertilizers that can be gathered up in runoff and then dumped into aquatic environments.
All of these issues are a severe health problem for humans that we should take seriously. Drinking water laced with these pollutants will be very harmful, and although municipal water treatment systems can remove many of these contaminants, they are not 100% safe all the time.
The Health Implications
Lead is a very dangerous toxic metal that can cause a number of health problems, such as memory problems, anemia, seizures, and many other problems.
Mercury is also toxic, and it can cause health issues, such as nervous system development, muscle weakness, organ failures, and others.
Lead and Mercury are just two of many possible water contaminants and exposure to them is especially dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and older people.
If you’re worried about your water quality, it’s a good idea to take charge and install your own water filtration system. A local water treatment professional will be able to help you to choose a system that will meet your needs. Then you can enjoy clean and fresh water without worrying about harmful contaminants.