Introduction to Causes of Water Pollution:
Water is the most important element in the biosphere because it sustains all sorts of life on the planet earth. Water pollution may be defined as alteration in the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, which may cause harmful effects on human and aquatic life. Water pollution is now-a-days considered not only in terms of public health but also in terms of conservation, aesthetics and preservation of natural beauty and resources.
Causes of water pollution
There are several causes of water pollution which are as follows:
Urbanization: Rapid urbanization in the world during the recent decades has given rise to a number of environmental problems such as water supply, waste water generation and its collection, treatment and disposal. Many towns and cities which came up on the banks of rivers have not given a proper thought to the problems of wastewater, sewerage etc. In urban areas, the wastewater is let out untreated and causes large scale water pollution.
Industries: Most of the rivers and other sources of fresh water are polluted by industrial wastes or effluents. All these industrial wastes are toxic to life forms that consume this water. Thermal power plants, engineering industries, paper mills, steel plants, textile industries and sugar industries are the major contributors of wastewater production.
Agricultural runoff and improper agricultural practices: Traces of fertilizers and pesticides are wasted into the nearest water bodies at the onset of the monsoons or whenever there are heavy showers. Intensive and ever increasing usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals cause water pollution. Flood-plain cultivation is another significant contributor to water pollution.
Religious and social practices: Religious faiths and social practices also add to pollution of river waters. Carcasses of cattle and other animals are disposed in the rivers. Dead bodies are cremated on the river banks. Partially burnt bodies are also flung into the river. These practices pollute the river water and adversely affect the water quality. Mass bathing in the river during religious festival is another environmentally harmful practice. Plastic bags are also very dangerous and further add to the pollution load to the river water.
Sources of water pollution
Waste treatment facilities
Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
Failing septic systems
Soap from washing your car
Oil and antifreeze leaking from cars
Detection of water pollution
Detection of water pollution can be done in laboratories, where small samples of water are analyzed for different contaminants. Usually fish can also be used for the detection of water pollution. Detection of water pollution can be done in laboratories, where small samples of water are analyzed for different contaminants. At times living organisms like fish can also be used for the detection of water pollution. If the water is polluted then these organisms show a change in their behavior. In laboratories also, computers are used to determine the level of impurities in the water sample. There are certain ways to check whether the water is polluted or not.
Dissolved Oxygen: The amount of oxygen dissolved in water is usually measured to find out if the water is polluted or not. In a non polluted water body, the amount of dissolved oxygen is high due to the increased rate of photosynthesis by algae present in the water body.
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD): It is an indirect measure of water quality. It is a measure of the amount of oxygen required by microbes while stabilizing decomposable organic matter. Higher the level of BOD, higher is the level of impurity in water.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD): It is a measure of the capacity of water to consume oxygen during the decomposition of organic matter and the oxidation of inorganic chemicals such as ammonia and nitrite. Higher the level of COD, higher is the level of impurity in water.
Turbidity: If the water is dirty i.e. light transmission inhibited, it is known as turbid water.
Effects of Water Pollution
Water pollution destroys the plants and the organisms living in these bodies of water and in about all cases the affect is damaging moreover to individual species and populations. As well as to the normal biological communities. Water pollution occurs when pollutants are release directly or indirectly into water bodies without sufficient action to eliminate damaging compounds. The water pollution is the major problem in world.
The affects of water pollution are frequent. Some water pollution effects are familiar immediately, whereas others don’t show up for months or years. The human and other kind of living things can death when they drink the polluted water. The factory releases the color water. In this one move to lakes and mingled with pure water. In this way the water will be polluted. Other affects of water pollution include:
The food chain is damaged:When pollutant is in the water, the pollutant travel from the water the animals swallow to humans when the animals’ beef is eaten.
Diseases spread through the polluted water:Infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera can be thin from drinking tainted water. This is known as microbial water pollution. The human heart and kidneys can be harmfully affected if polluted water is inspired frequently. Other health problems related with polluted water are poor blood circulation, vomiting, and damage to the nervous system.
Acid rain:It has sulfate particles, which can injury fish or plant life in lakes and rivers.