When the water in our rivers, lakes, and oceans becomes polluted it can endanger
wildlife, make our drinking water unsafe, and threaten the waters where we swim and
fish. Some people believe that the pollution of our lakes and rivers is not a problem right
now and is a problem for the future that modern technology will be able to fix, wrong.
According to P. K. Goel author of the book Water Pollution: Causes, Effects and Control,
“Most of the wastewater, statistics indicate around 60% of it, is discharged into rivers
without being treated” (Goel). This is a high pollution of the environment and also a big
health risk to the people who rely on the water downstream. Water pollution is a huge
problem that needs to be taken more serious before things get to far past the point of
fixing. There is a lot of different ways that our lakes and rivers are being polluted. Like
physical, chemical, and biological pollution. All having different effects but all harming
our lakes and rivers in a negative way.
The pollution of water restricts its use for some human need or a natural function
in the ecosystem. There are so many ways that our waters are being polluted. Most of
these could have possible solutions if taken more serious and acted on now, before it's to
late. Since the industrial revolution, we have achieved a lot. Our manufacturing processes
have become more efficient and productive, science has become much more advanced,
and our life has transformed a great deal. But nothing comes without a price. All the
advancement and development witnessed in the last few centuries have also brought with
them a wide spectrum of problems, water pollution being big one. Pollution refers to the
contamination of the environment by harmful and waste materials, which bring about a
significant change in the quality of the surrounding atmosphere. Environmental pollution
can be classified as air pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution. Water pollution
signifies contamination of water bodies, which makes their water unfit for drinking and
other purposes. There are basically five primary sources of water pollution, domestic
sewage, agricultural runoff, industrial effluents, wastewater from septic tanks, and
stormwater runoff. If not taken serious this could have enormous effects on humans along
with all plants and animals relying of our lakes and streams.
One of the most significant problem with water pollution is that it endangers the
species that live in the water. It can lead to extinction of various species without any
adequate steps taken to mitigate water pollution’s reoccurrences (Hart).There are many
different types of water pollutants which threaten species. These include introduction of
pathogens and chemicals which are dispersed into bodies of water from many different
sources. Pipes, storm drains, factor-based discharges and sewer systems also maintain the
capability to contaminate various bodies of water. Specific contaminants like sodium,
iron, benzene, and other harmful pathogens can really affect species in different ways.
One of the most significant problems is that water-polluting substances tend to deplete
oxygen levels in a body of water or causes a thing called turbidity, a situation in which
vital light is obstructed, thereby disrupting the capability of plants to grow and even
causing blockage of a water-dwelling species’ gills. When harmful chemicals are
introduced into these bodies of water, it can promote the production of various diseases.
Water intoxication, also known as water poisoning, hyperhydration, overhydration, or
water toxemia is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the
normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside safe limits by excessive
water intake (Winthrope).
Industrial pollution is one of the main ways that our rivers are being polluted.
There are a few reasons why industries are a leader in water pollution. Like the lack of
strict pollution control policies. In many countries of the world, especially in the
developing and underdeveloped countries have allowed industries to take such laws for
granted and bypass them easily. Also, some industries still rely on old and outdated
technologies that produce a greater amount of pollutants compared to modern
technologies. Industries basically try to avoid the high cost of modern or sophisticated
technologies by using outdated technologies. There are also some small scale industries
that lack the money to invest in modern technologies and pollution control equipment.
Most industries require large amounts of water for their work. When involved in a series
of processes, the water comes into contact with heavy metals, harmful chemicals,
radioactive waste, and even organic sludge.
Various simple and much needed ways can be used to limit the pollution of our
water resources. These actions can be taken individually or collectively and must be done
repeatedly to reduce the impacts on the water systems. Some people perceive that the
harmful substances or pollutants normally disappear once discharged into water. There
are lot of industries who put their daily waste into the oceans thus further polluting the
water bodies. Then there is problem of oil spill which results in accidental release of
petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment which results in serious environmental
consequences. What these people don’t know is that these pollutants can take hundreds to
thousands of years to disappear. Action needs to be taken to limit the direct negative
impacts which translate to decline in water quality. Things need to be taken care of now
before things get to far out of the reach of fixing. When it comes to urban areas wells can
become contaminated if not taken care of properly. "Children are especially vulnerable to
waterborne illnesses that may come from contaminated wells," said Walter J. Rogan,
M.D., an epidemiologist at NIEHS (Flowers).
There are problems that will involve large amounts of money and effort to stop
water pollution from getting worse, but there's also some little things that individuals can
do to help in little yet big ways. Reduce the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Excessive use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers leads to water pollution as the
chemicals contained in the products often find way into the water systems through
surface runoff or infiltration into the soil. Minimizing their usage or using organic
methods for pest, weed, and disease control can appreciably reduce water pollution.
Dispose trash properly! This should be done by everyone. At times, poor disposal of solid
non-degradable materials such as plastics normally ends up littering the beaches and river
banks. If people would dispose of their trash properly this could reduce the amounts of
trash that end up in our lakes and rivers. I am a big advocate of picking up garbage when
I see it, the little things like that can make a huge difference.
I believe that the first step to fighting the problem starts with the individual
persons changing their ways, but not everyone will. If problems can be solved by people
starting to care about this precious earth and changing their ways, mayne the government
should step in. Grantanted the government has done things in the past to help this
problem, like the Clean Water Act, there is more they can do. If the government were to
put some bands and regulations on some things that could be a huge step in cleaning up
our waters. By all means possible, we should desist from disposing rubbish or any other
waste products into lakes, rivers, streams or oceans. If the government were to put huge
fines and bans on this act it could limit the amount of waste being pumped into our
waterways. Also, i think the government should Insist on using environmentally safe
products. Whenever you purchase household products such as cleaning material, medical
supplies, paints, insect repellants, or chemical substances, make sure it's environmentally
friendly (Sonia). So if the government would make everything have to be
environmentally friendly that would change our waters in a beautiful way.
More than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to make its way into our ocean
by 2025. Everyday trash is entering the sea at an alarming rate (Moore). That right there
says it will make its way to the ocean, that's not counting all the plastic that is going to be
caught up in our lakes and river and not make it to the ocean. According to Jeff Akst he
identified the first floating islands of plastic and other trash more than 20 years ago (The
Scientist). The ocean is one on the most beautiful things in the world, but if 250 millions
of trash is polluted into it will it still be beautiful? Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s
dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly to our economies. Marine
animals become entangled in debris, and even mistake it for food, often with fatal results.
Divers, swimmers and beach goers can be directly harmed by encounters with marine
debris or its toxins. I recently went on a trip to Hawaii and while hiking a trail along the
ocean we ran into a lot of spots where the current brought tons of garbage in. This left a
unsettling view in my head, the problem is much bigger than most think. I dream of a day
when i can go back and walk that same trail without seeing any garbage covering the
shores, and rather I can just enjoy the beautiful trash free blue waters.
This world to me in my opinion is a fragile place that needs to be treated with the
utmost respect. If everyone would change up their daily routines and the way they treat
this world, we could slowly start to fix the problem of water pollution and just pollution
in general. The pace at which we are destroying the world with our selfish acts can not
continue, action need to be done now. If that means the government putting very strict
regulations on the major ways our waters are being polluted, then so be it. This world is a
beautiful place and should remain that way for many generations to come. So they can
enjoy its beauty, not fix what previous generations have destroyed.
Water pollution is the biggest problem in the world right now. Something needs to
be done before it's to late. There are so many people and animals that depend on our lakes
and rivers. If something is not done to fix these problems it could wipe out entire species
and sicken many people that are depending on the polluted water. If we stop the
physical, chemical, and biological pollution of our waters we can enjoy the beauties of
our lakes and rivers for years to come. Let's keep our waters clean and our earth beautiful.