Water Pollution

Water is one of the most important natural resources. Even though more than two-thirds of the earth is covered with water, less than 3% is available to all living organisms for their use.
This includes us humans, animals, plants and every other organism. But as per the current scenario, humans have exploited this resource to such an extent that reversing the effects of water pollution has become almost impossible.

What Are the Causes of Water Pollution?

Water is uniquely vulnerable to pollution. Known as a “universal solvent,” water is able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid on earth. It’s the reason we have Kool-Aid and brilliant blue waterfalls. It’s also why water is so easily polluted. Toxic substances from farms, towns, and factories readily dissolve into and mix with it, causing water pollution.

Different types of Water Pollution

Surface Water Pollution

The surface water comprises the natural water resources that are found on the Earth’s surface. They include oceans, rivers and lakes and other large and small bodies of water. When these water-bodies get polluted as a result of hazardous substance coming into contact and mixing with the water, it is known as surface water pollution.

Groundwater Pollution

A lot of the Earth’s water is found underground in soil or under rock structures called aquifers. Humans often use aquifers to obtain drinking water, and build wells to access it.
When this water becomes polluted it is called groundwater pollution. Groundwater pollution is often caused by pesticides and other chemicals, which tend to sink through the layers of soil and contaminate the water underneath.

Microbiological Pollution

This is a natural form of pollution caused by microorganisms. Most of these microorganism thrive in water and can cause fish, land animals, and humans to become ill. Microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, can cause serious diseases like cholera.
In poor countries, there are no facilities to treat polluted water, and hence public health is affected due to microbiological water pollution.

Oxygen Depletion Pollution

Microorganisms that thrive in water feed on biodegradable substances. When a lot of biodegradable material gets mixed with water, the number of microorganisms increases and they end up using all the available oxygen leading to its depletion.
When oxygen levels in water go down, the comparatively harmless aerobic microorganisms die, and the anaerobic microorganisms prosper, some of which are harmful to people, environment and animals as they produce toxins like ammonia and sulfides.

Nutrients Pollution

Some wastewater, sewage, and agricultural run-offs, contain a large amount of nutrients dissolved in them. These can cause excess weed and algae growth.

The algae use up the oxygen in the water, leaving none of it for the rest of the marine life. This can destroy the aquatic habitat, and can also lead to contamination of this water rendering it unfit for consumption.

Suspended Matter Pollution

When the molecules of matter present in water, are too large, they do not dissolve in water. They are termed as particulate matter, and can lead to water pollution.
The suspended particles settle down and form a thick layer of silt at the bottom, which harms the marine life on the floor of the rivers and lakes. Biodegradable substances suspended in water also cause an accelerated growth of anaerobic microorganisms present in it, affecting its purity.

Chemical Pollution

Agricultural and industrial activities produce many chemicals that are allowed to run-off into the different water bodies and pollute it. Metals and solvents from industrial works pollute rivers and lakes, endangering the aquatic life in them.
In farms, chemical pesticides are used to control weeds, insects and fungi. Run-offs of these tend to poison the aquatic life, and also harm the birds, humans and other animals that drink this water and/or consume the infected fish.

Oil spills

Oil spills are another cause of water pollution. Small scale oil spills only have a localized effects, while the adverse effects of large-scale ones can be seen for miles
Spilled oil can cause the death of fish and other marine creatures numbering in the thousands. Oil even sticks to the feathers of seabirds affecting their ability to fly.

I am scientist

I am scientist is a result of small effort to make huge impact on children. To stimulate the curiosity of young scientist towards science. Each idea will start with a experiment followed by reasoning the result , scientific learning, vocabulary (recap the big words used), useful reference website and books, along with free downloadable worksheets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *