Water pollution, which is the second most common type of pollution after polluted air, involves rivers, lakes, reservoirs, underground water and underground aquifers. It goes without saying that the oceans and seas that cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface must be covered with this substance. Logically follow there is plenty to go around.
However, various types of water pollution make it unsafe for drinking, washing, bathing and swimming. Not all forms of water pollution are man-made, but many are. Here is a brief description of the different types of water pollution that are currently jeopardizing the quality of H2O around the world.
7 Types of Water Pollution
Chemicals, the most common type of water pollution, can seep into groundwater and surface water sources. Chemicals are used in a wide range of human activities, from protecting crops from pests and diseases, producing consumer goods, transportation, and consuming energy sources such as oil and gasoline.
Inevitably, some of these chemicals enter the natural environment through agricultural runoff, accidental runoff, or improper waste disposal after heavy rains. This can have a significant impact on water hygiene.
As rain falls and percolates deep into the earth, it fills cracks, fissures, and porous spaces in aquifers (basically underground water reservoirs) and becomes groundwater. It is one of our most invisible yet most important natural resources.
About 40 percent of Americans rely on groundwater pumped to the surface for drinking water. For some people in rural areas, this is their only source of fresh water and it is no longer safe to use.
Removing contaminants from groundwater is not only expensive, but can be difficult or impossible. Contaminated aquifers can be unusable for decades or even thousands of years. Groundwater also seeps into rivers, lakes, and oceans, which can spread pollution away from the original source.
Surface water pollution
Referring to all water sources above ground, such as rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, surface water pollution can occur naturally, accidentally or intentionally. These water bodies can be polluted by point sources (such as industrial runoff or inadequate wastewater management systems) or nonpoint sources (such as agricultural runoff, rainfall, and infiltration).
For example, monitoring plays a very important role in natural flood management and can lead to reduced water quality. Also, accidental oil spills and negligence of the industry in dumping waste in the waters are the main culprits.
Microbial pollution refers to anything caused by microorganisms in water. This type of pollution occurs more naturally and in many cases bacteria, protozoa and viruses are harmless or even beneficial to the ecosystems in which they live.
However, this is not always the case, and some microbial contamination disrupts the delicate balance in such environments, destroying plant and animal life and causing disease in humans who consume or use the water. It is possible.
Microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa and viruses can enter water sources and cause diseases such as bilharzia and cholera. Humans are more susceptible to this type of pollution where adequate water purification systems have not yet been installed.
Fertilizers, pesticides and other products used in agricultural processes often contain large amounts of nutrients such as phosphorus and ammonia. They are especially used to protect crops from pests and diseases. It is also used to enhance crop growth and maximize yield.
When sewage pumps these chemicals into water sources, they can cause nutrient imbalances, causing the growth of some organisms (such as algae) and harming others.
Another effect of algal blooms is oxygen consumption. This means that species that depend on oxygen for survival are killed, while anaerobic species thrive. Some anaerobic microorganisms produce ammonia, sulfides, and other harmful toxins and can make water even more dangerous for animals (and humans).
Suspended matter pollution
Water is often considered a universal solvent, but some pollutant particles are too large to mix with water molecules. This means that it forms a layer of floating silt on the surface of the water or sinks to the bottom in the form of thick mud. Either way, they can prevent marine life from growing beneath the waves, impair nearby water quality, and pose a danger to humans as well as animals.