Water pollution is killing us and our planet. Unsafe water kills far more people every year than all ongoing wars combined. We cause most water pollution on planet earth, so we need to work together and bring change so future generations will have a healthy, sustainable plant to live on.
What Is Water Pollution?
Water pollution is the contamination of a body of water such as a stream, river, lake, ocean or aquifer. When water is polluted it is rendered toxic for humans and the environment.
A few Pollutants that may be in polluted water include parasites, bacteria, chemicals, metals, oils, and trash. Polluted water is unusable for cleaning, drinking, cooking, swimming, and other activities.
The only water considered safe enough for human and animal consumption is potable water. “Potable Water comes from surface and ground sources and is treated to levels that meet state and federal standards for consumption.”
What Are Some Causes of Water Pollution?
Water pollution comes in two forms: point source and nonpoint source. Point source pollution comes from an identifiable location, such as a pipe. Nonpoint source pollution cannot be traced to a source, an example is the runoff from an entire town contaminating the river that drains its watershed.
“More than 80 percent of the world’s wastewater flows back into the environment without being treated or reused” and every day about 2 million tons of sewage and other liquid waste drain into the world’s waters. The most noteworthy source of water pollution is the lack of satisfactory treatment of human wastes. The Groundwater foundation says that the United States has an estimated 20,000 sites where poorly stored hazardous waste could leak into the groundwater supply.
Oil spills are another reason why many rivers, lakes and oceans are polluted.
Most oil slicks are not caused by oil ships and marine transport. 36% of oil in the water actually comes from drains and rivers in the form of runoff and urban or industrial waste. The majority of oil pollution in our seas come from land-based sources such as factories, farms, and cities. Oil and gasoline that drips from millions of cars and trucks every day also contributes to water pollution. “Oil is also naturally released from under the ocean floor through fractures known as seeps.”
More than 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year for a wide range of uses and at least 14 million tons of that plastic ends up in the ocean every year. “Plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.” A congressionally mandated report released in late 2021 described the US as the leading country for plastic waste generation.
What Are The Effects Of Water Pollution?
Water pollution can affect your health and your food supply. Polluted water kills and can make you very sick. Every year, unsafe water sickens about 1 billion people.
According to a study published in The Lancet, polluted water caused 1.8 million deaths in 2015. Contaminated water causes a decline in the amount of water that is drinkable, able to use for hygiene, and for sanitation practices
How To Prevent Water Pollution
- Educate yourself on water pollution
- Do not liter
- Reduce plastic consumption
- Dispose of oils, chemicals, and non biodegradable items properly
- Pay attention to what you dispose of into storm sewers
- Be mindful of what you flush
- Share with other what you have learned about water pollution
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