Water Pollution Assignment

Water Pollution Assignment Words: 2770

Thesis Statement: Water pollution is bringing down the economy, destroys the beauty of nature, and causing harmful dreaded diseases and sickness in precious health of many individual. INTRODUCTION Water pollution progresses every day in our lakes, oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water that we see and use in many ways. Water is essential for all living things to survive, yet people still pollute it. It’s pretty sad to be taking a trip to the beach with your family and you get there to see a sign that says the beach is closed.

Or not being able to eat a fish because it’s diseased from pollution. Not all pollution is deliberate though, the definition of marine pollution according to the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP), is “Introduction of man, directly or indirectly, of substance or energy into the marine environment resulting in such deleterious effects as a harm to living resources, hazard to human health, hindrance to marine activities… impairment of quality for use of sea-water, and reduction of amenities” (Michaels).

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There are many natural causes for pollution too. The big causes for marine pollution are oil spills, erosion, and sewage, industrial waste Statement of the Problem 1. What is Water Pollution? 2. What are the cause and effects of water pollution? 3. What can you do to prevent water pollution? Body of the research Water pollution has been seriously affecting the life of humans, plants as well as animals. The eco-system of rivers, streams, lakes, seas and oceans is also getting deteriorated due to the contamination of water, through various sources.

This condition also leads to the outbreak of numerous diseases, majority of them being lethal and contagious. However, before going about finding a solution to the problem, we need to look into its underlying causes. In the following lines, we have provided information on the causes and harmful effects of water pollution. Go through them and then decide on your course of action. Water Pollution Causes The specific contaminants leading to pollution in water include a wide spectrum of chemicals, pathogens, and physical or sensory changes such as elevated temperature and discoloration.

While many of the chemicals and substances that are regulated may be naturally occurring (calcium, sodium, iron, manganese, etc. ) the concentration is often the key in determining what is a natural component of water, and what is a contaminant. Oxygen-depleting substances may be natural materials, such as plant matter (e. g. leaves and grass) as well as man-made chemicals. Other natural and anthropogenic substances may cause turbidity (cloudiness) which blocks light and disrupts plant growth, and clogs the gills of some fish species. [10] Many of the chemical substances are toxic.

Pathogens can produce waterborne diseases in either human or animal hosts. Alteration of water’s physical chemistry includes acidity (change in pH), electrical conductivity, temperature, and eutrophication. Eutrophication is an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an ecosystem to an extent that increases in the primary productivity of the ecosystem. Depending on the degree of eutrophication, subsequent negative environmental effects such as anoxia (oxygen depletion) and severe reductions in water quality may occur, affecting fish and other animal populations.

Pathogens Coliform bacteria are a commonly-used bacterial indicator of water pollution, although not an actual cause of disease. Other microorganisms sometimes found in surface waters which have caused human health problems include: ???Burkholderia pseudomallei ???Cryptosporidium parvum ???Giardia lamblia ???Salmonella ???Novovirus and other viruses ???Parasitic worms (helminths). High levels of pathogens may result from inadequately treated sewage discharges. [13] This can be caused by a sewage plant designed with less than secondary treatment (more typical in less-developed countries).

In developed countries, older cities with aging infrastructure may have leaky sewage collection systems (pipes, pumps, valves), which can cause sanitary sewer overflows. Some cities also have combined sewers, which may discharge untreated sewage during rain storms. [14] Pathogen discharges may also be caused by poorly-managed livestock operations. Chemical and other contaminants Contaminants may include organic and inorganic substances. Organic water pollutants include: ???Detergents Disinfection by-products found in chemically disinfected drinking water, such as chloroform ???Food processing waste, which can include oxygen-demanding substances, fats and grease ???Insecticides and herbicides, a huge range of organohalides and other chemical compounds ???Petroleum hydrocarbons, including fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels, and fuel oil) and lubricants (motor oil), and fuel combustion byproducts, from stormwater runoff[15] ???Tree and bush debris from logging operations Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as industrial solvents, from improper storage. Chlorinated solvents, which are dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), may fall to the bottom of reservoirs, since they don’t mix well with water and are denser. ???Various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products Inorganic water pollutants include: ???Acidity caused by industrial discharges (especially sulfur dioxide from power plants) ???Ammonia from food processing waste ???Chemical waste as industrial by-products Fertilizers containing nutrients–nitrates and phosphates–which are found in stormwater runoff from agriculture, as well as commercial and residential use[15] ???Heavy metals from motor vehicles (via urban stormwater runoff)[15][16] and acid mine drainage ???Silt (sediment) in runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or land clearing sites Macroscopic pollution???large visible items polluting the water???may be termed “floatables” in an urban stormwater context, or marine debris when found on the open seas, and can include such items as: ???Trash (e. . paper, plastic, or food waste) discarded by people on the ground, and that are washed by rainfall into storm drains and eventually discharged into surface waters ???Nurdles, small ubiquitous waterborne plastic pellets ???Shipwrecks, large derelict ships Thermal pollution Thermal pollution is the rise or fall in the temperature of a natural body of water caused by human influence. A common cause of thermal pollution is the use of water as a coolant by power plants and industrial manufacturers.

Elevated water temperatures decreases oxygen levels (which can kill fish) and affects ecosystem composition, such as invasion by new thermophilic species. Urban runoff may also elevate temperature in surface waters. Thermal pollution can also be caused by the release of very cold water from the base of reservoirs into warmer rivers. Water Pollution Effects Chemical Contamination Over the years, many types of chemicals have gotten into our waterways???and they continue to do so today. Chemical water pollution typically occurs because … 1. the chemicals were dumped into the water intentionally; . the chemicals seeped into groundwater, streams, or rivers because of failing pipes or storage tanks; 3. the chemicals catastrophically contaminated waterways because of industrial accidents; 4. the pollution settled out of polluted air (or was precipitated out of polluted air); or 5. chemicals were leached out of contaminated soil. Pesticides Pesticides are carried in rainwater runoff from farm fields, suburban lawns, or roadside embankments into the nearest creeks and streams. Occasionally they are even intentionally sprayed into waterways as part of a pest-control effort.

Egad???talk about destroying the village to save it! In terms of general human health effects, pesticides can … ???affect and damage the nervous system; ???cause liver damage; ???damage DNA and cause a variety of cancers; ???cause reproductive and endocrine damage; ???cause other acutely toxic or chronic effects. Oil and Petroleum Chemicals When oil pollution gets in water, some of the components of are degraded and dispersed by evaporation, photochemical reactions, or bacterial degradation, while others are more resistant and may persist for many years, especially in shallow waters with muddy sediments.

MTBE, a gas additive, has contaminated many groundwater sources in the US. Animal studies suggest that ingestion of MTBE causes gastrointestinal irritation, liver and kidney damage, and nervous system effects. Mercury Mercury finds its way into water primarily through air pollution from coal-fired power plants and some other industrial processes. In the water, the elemental mercury is converted to methylmercury by certain bacteria, after which it moves up the food chain of fish gobbling each other up.

In then end, the larger fish may end up on your dinner plate???swordfish, sea bass, marlin, halibut, or tuna, for example. Mercury in adults is also a problem, causing: ???central nervous system effects like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease; ???heart disease; ???and, in severe cases, causing death or irreversibly damaging areas of the brain. PCBs, Dioxins, and Other POPs PCBs, dioxins, DDT, and a number of other persistent organic pollutants don’t readily break down in the environment and tend to collect in the fatty tissues of animals.

All of these chemicals are toxic for the animals that harbor them. In cases where humans might eat, say, a PCB-contaminated farmed salmon, their systems must deal with the chemical insult. Other Chemicals Tens of thousands of chemicals are used in industrial processes and are found in car-maintenance products, household cleaners, toiletries, and many other consumer products. Our current regimes for controlling whether these chemicals get into the environment are not sufficient for keeping them out of the water, and the potential myriad effects are worrisome. Mining

There are a number of negative water-pollution effects from mining operations: Acid mine drainage: When rain or surface water flows over exposed rock and soil, it can combine with naturally occurring sulfur to form sulfuric acid. The acidified rainwater eventually finds its way to streams and groundwater, polluting them and impacting local aquatic life. Some streams can become so acidic???more acidic than car-battery acid???the aquatic ecosystem is completely destroyed. The same leaching process that causes acid mine drainage can impart heavy-metal pollutants from the soil and rock as well.

Review of Related Literature MINING ??? A TOP CAUSE OF WATER POLLUTION The Iron Mountain mine in California, USA has been closed since 1963 but continues to drain sulfuric acid and heavy metals (such as cadmium and zinc) into the Sacramento River. The river’s bright orange water is completely devoid of life and has a pH of -3, which is 10,000 times more acidic than battery acid. Experts say the pollution may continue for another 3,000 years. Source: Worldwatch Institute / Earthworks GLOWING REVIEWS ??? NOT! Even nuclear energy is among the causes of water pollution.

Radioactive water pollution has a number sources, including ???the normal operation of nuclear power stations (i. e. from the nuclear waste); ???the mining and refining of uranium and thorium; and ???the use of radioactive materials in industrial, medical, and scientific processes. In the oceans, the biggest sources of man-made radioactive elements are the nuclear fuel reprocessing plants at La Hague in France and at Sellafield in the UK. Discharges from these facilities have resulted in the widespread contamination of large marine areas.

Radioactive elements traceable to reprocessing can be found in seaweed as far away as the western coast of Greenland. Source: Greenpeace, et al WATER POLLUTION EFFECTS OF MINING DISASTERS In 2000, a tailings dam split open at the Baia Mare mine in Romania. This accident sent some 100,000 tons of wastewater and 20,000 tons of sludge contaminated with cyanide, copper, and heavy metals into the Tisza River, and eventually into the Danube???destroying 1,240 tons of fish and polluting the drinking water supplies of 2. 5 million people. In 2008 in the US state of Tennessee, an impoundment dam failed and 5. million cubic yards of coal ash spilled into adjacent waterways, killing fish, damaging property, and threatening drinking-water supplies. Residents now face concerns about the long-term health effects from the ash, which contains numerous harmful contaminants such as arsenic. It should be noted that in this case the spill was not related to coal mining; it was stored coal ash, the waste that results from burning coal in a power plant. CLIMATE CHANGE ??? CONVEYOR OF HYPOXIA The movie The Day After Tomorrow dramatized what might happen to North America if global warming shut down the oceanic conveyor belt.

In reality, Northern Europe would be much more in the crosshairs of such an event, but marine species in the deep ocean that now get their oxygen supplies from sinking surface water could also be highly affected. More generally, warmer water has less oxygen-holding capacity than colder water. The oceans have already warmed 1 degree on average???and the trend is still up. In a related issue, warming-driven changes in the oceans’ thermohaline circulation could increase the risk of hypoxia in the deep ocean. Related GP article: The Day After Tomorrow science GUIMARAS OIL SPILL

The oil tanker M/T Solar I, carrying more than two million liters of bunker fuel, sank on August 11, 2006 at the Guimaras Strait off the coast of the Guimaras and Negros Occidental provinces, causing some 500,000 liters of oil to pour into the strait. Siphoning the remaining 1. 5 million liters from the sunken tanker, at a depth of more than 600 meters, was scheduled for MARCH 2007 It has been said and said about the recent oil spill which has now adversely affected marine sanctuaries and mangrove reserves in three out of five municipalities in Guimaras Island and reached the shores of Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

The oil spill occurred in the Visayas Sea which is considered a rich fishing ground that supplies most of the fisheries demand for the entire country. (NDCC, August 2006) Haribon sent its two biologists to Guimaras to rapidly assess the damage and talk to the affected communities regarding their immediate needs. Definitely Haribon will be providing assistance to the area particularly for the long-term rehabilitation of the area. Finally, the government has evacuated the affected families who have already been exposed to the toxic elements of the crude oil.

According to reports gathered in the field, people have already contracted skin diseases. [SOURCES: Wikipedia. org] SUMMARY Water Pollution Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e. g. lakes, rivers, oceans, groundwater). Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water; and, in almost all cases the effect is damaging either to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds..

Causes – Many companies dump their toxic waste in many rivers and lakes. Ships spill oil in oceans and rivers. People throw litter in water. Effects – Toxic waste and oil spills cause many animals and plants to die. Litter also is eaten by animals or they get caught in the litter like six pack plastics causing the animals death. Significance of the Study Water pollution is an impairment for useful activities like: * sanitation * drinking * fishing * aquaculture * irrigation * ecosystem maintenance * aesthetic * sports Recommendation:

While we need to see to it that the government is stringent about seeing to it that there are adequate treatment plants to treat sewage, and seeing to it that industries have treatment plants and nuclear plants have proper waste storage systems for radioactive material, and so on, there are many things that we can do individually to prevent water pollution. Given below are a few ways to prevent water pollution: * Toxic products like paints, automobile oil, polishes, and cleaning products should be stored and disposed off properly.

As a matter of fact, it is better to use non-toxic, products for the house as far as possible. Also, never dispose off such products by throwing them into your toilet or sink. * Dispose off your trash in a proper manner and try and incorporate the recycling habit as far as possible. Non-degradable products like tampons, sanitary napkins, and diapers should not be flushed down the toilet, for these can end up damaging the process of sewage treatment, and usually end up as litter on beaches. Refrain from throwing litter into streams, lakes, rivers, or seas. If you do spot litter on beaches or in water systems, after ascertaining that it is safe, collect them and dispose off them in any nearby waste disposal system. * Try using environmentally friendly household products like toiletries, soap-based household cleaning material, and washing powder as far as possible. * Try using natural fertilizers and pesticides as far as possible, or if not, do not overuse them or over-water gardens and lawns.

This will help in reducing the pollutants that get into water systems due to runoffs. * Automobile oil should be re-used as far as possible. Also, it is important to keep your automobile well maintained in order to prevent leakages of toxic fluids like antifreeze and oil. * Also, actively conserve water by turning the tap off when you do not need running water, such as while brushing teeth. Apart from preventing water shortages, it lessens the amount of water that needs to be treated.

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