Sources of water pollution

What are the main sources of water pollution?

What is the effect of water pollution on living organisms?

Water pollution is one of the biggest problems that humanity faces, as this problem requires continuous evaluation and review of water resources policy at all levels, as water pollution may cause the death of people in many places in the world, and it is worth noting that water pollution is not limited to causing harm to humans It can only cause serious damage to all living organisms that consume polluted water, and usually the main source of water pollution is some human activities, and this occurs through the seepage of some pollutant materials into the water, and the following are the most prominent sources of water pollution:

Domestic sewage

Wastewater is also known as sewage water, as wastewater is the main source of pathogens and rotting organic matter, and this wastewater is usually transported to various water bodies through sewage pipes coming from city homes, and the rotting organic materials present in the wastewater One of the biggest threats to water quality and quality, as these substances reduce the level of oxygen, and thus affect the ability of fish and other marine organisms to live in such conditions.

Wastewater can affect the quality of water by providing a source of nutrition such as nitrates and phosphates for the growth of algae, which may cause heavy algae growth, and when these algae die, large amounts of oxygen will be consumed for their decomposition, and thus this will lead to the early death of the water body, and it is worth It is noteworthy that the process of treating wastewater, can contribute to reducing pollution of this water as it does not completely eliminate it.

Agricultural waste

Approximately 70% of the total water consumption is consumed in agriculture around the world, and agricultural waste is one of the largest sources that affect water pollution, as agricultural activities affect water pollution through fertilization and agricultural intensification processes to increase productivity. By increasing soil erosion, salinity, and the transfer of sediments to the water, pesticides used in agriculture can also pollute ground and surface water.

It is worth noting that polluted water can also cause serious harm to human health when used in agriculture, by accumulating microbiological and chemical pollutants in crops and products, and thus will affect the consumers of these foods.

Oil spills

The use of petroleum products has a wide variety of everyday applications; Such as heating homes, producing electricity, and supplying many sectors with energy, and despite this, the leakage of petroleum products into the water can cause great damage to its quality and quality, and the leaks cause damage to marine organisms and thus make seafood toxic and unsafe, where it occurs Oil spills in US waters thousands of times every year.

Typically, most small oil spills result from refueling ships, while large oil spills are very dangerous for water pollution, and large spills usually occur when oil pipelines are broken, large oil tanker vessels are sunk, or when drilling operations go bad, as it can affect Large spills to water and the ecosystem as a whole for decades. These spills usually occur in drilling sites to search for oil or when transporting it for use.

Radioactive Substances: Radioactive materials or what is known as radioactive pollution, which is a group of radionuclides emitted in the environment, and radionuclides are known as atoms with an unstable nucleus that possesses excess energy. These materials usually pollute the water by: Nuclear weapons tests, nuclear submarines collapse, nuclear waste dumping into the depths of the ocean, leaks from nuclear power plants and nuclear reprocessing plants, in addition to some accidents such as the Chernobyl accident that occurred in 1986.

Radioactive materials can be either gaseous, liquid, or solid, and they may continue to affect from a few hours to hundreds of thousands of years, and it is worth noting that there are more than 16 radioactive chemical elements present in the ocean that affect water pollution, and due to the danger of the radioactive materials appeared The Convention for the Prevention of Marine Pollution, known as the London Convention, which provides for the prevention of dumping of waste, including radioactive waste, into the sea. The implementation of this convention began on August 30, 1975.

Industrial waste

There are many factories that dispose of their waste by throwing it into the water, and this waste includes; Dirt, gravel, garbage, solvents, oils, chemicals, detergents, paints, building materials and concrete, scrap metal, weeds, wood, wood scrap, etc., and these wastes can be either solid, liquid or gaseous.

Industrial waste is classified depending on the damage caused by it, as it can be said that some wastes are harmful in the water, such as paints and pesticides, and others are harmless, and industrial waste can be toxic, reactive or flammable, and therefore disposing of industrial waste in water will cause Contaminating them and causing harm to aquatic life and human health.

Atmospheric sediments (Atmospheric deposition)

It is the process of transporting sediments and gases from the atmosphere to the surface of the earth through rain and snow, and acid deposition is the most important source of water pollution through atmospheric sediments, as it contributes to significant impacts on lakes, streams and forests, and these deposits can also be rare minerals and toxic organic compounds One of the most prominent examples of atmospheric sediments is excessive nitrogen, which enters the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, which is one of the first areas to receive large amounts of acid precipitation, which is concentrated from sulfates and nitrates, as one third of this state’s water is acidic.

Atmospheric sediments affect water by lowering oxygen levels, algal blooms, underwater plant deaths, and decreasing numbers of fish and shellfish. Atmospheric deposits include Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, selenium, vanadium, zinc.

Thermal pollution

Heat is one of the most important sources of water pollution, as high temperatures contribute to reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, and water pollution through heat can be either natural or the result of human activities, as hot springs and shallow ponds in summer are natural thermal pollution, while Thermal pollution resulting from human activities includes the discharge of water that was used to cool power plants or other industrial equipment, and it is worth noting that the survival of marine fish and plants requires certain temperatures and oxygen levels, and therefore thermal pollution of the water limits the diversity of aquatic life.

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