Water pollution: Causes and effects

When suspended matter, impurities mixed with the clean water sources, the properties of water change, this water is not usable and becomes harmful to health. This is called water pollution. These liquid substances can be fecal, urine, chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial wastes.

Causes of water pollution

The causes of water pollution are as follows:

1. Sewage

Sewage excreta consists mainly of excreted human sewage from domestic and public toilets. Draining stool contains both organic and inorganic substances. The majority of solid feces are organic, in which dead and sometimes solitary microorganisms are also present. Various types of microorganisms and bacteria, protozoa, viruses, fungi, and algae, etc. grow at a rapid pace due to excess of organic matter. This type of contaminated sewage gets into the water sources through untreated sewage and causes severe water pollution.

Discharged sewage by humans and animals in open places also causes water pollution by mixing with rainwater in flowing water sources. Such water pollution is called biological pollution.

2. Urban Waste

Due to the rising uncontrolled population, a pile of waste is found near the water source. Mainly in the form of stalled substances, stool urine, dung, and polythene bags are prominent. These substances mix slowly in the water with rain and the water gets polluted. Due to the unplanned development of many colonies, multi-story buildings are being built on river banks. Millions of tons of waste from their construction are dumped in the rivers.

3. Industrial effluents

Often, after the production process in each industry, many unusable materials are left, which is called industrial waste material. Most of these industrial wastes or effluents mainly contain many elements and many types of acids, alkalies, salts, oils, fats, etc. toxic chemical substances. These all mix with water and make the water poisonous by polluting it.

The pulp and paper industry, textile industry, leather industry, pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, food processing industry, liquor industry,  and chemical industries discharge a sufficient amount of waste, which is disposed of in water sources. Most industrial waste is organic matter, which is decomposed by bacteria. But this process takes place at a very slow rate, resulting in the foul odor and the water in the drains that carry waste materials gets polluted.

4. Detergents

Due to increasing industrial progress, new cleaners are coming to the market for cleaning. These detergents dissolve in the water and reach the reservoirs and their solid particles form a thin layer on the surface of the water, due to these layers, the sunlight does not enter the water due to which oxygen does not dissolve in the water in sufficient quantity. And the water gets polluted. Due to the lack of oxygen, there are harmful side effects on aquatic animals and flora.

5. Agricultural effluent

At the present time, the use of various new methods in agriculture is increasing to get more production from crops. Due to new methods in agriculture, on one hand, there has been an increase in irrigation, on the other hand, the use of chemical fertilizers, indigestible pesticides and pesticides have also increased at a rapid pace. While these new experiments in agriculture have led to a huge increase in production on the one hand, on the other hand, the cost of this success has to be paid for the damage to the environment as water pollution.

6. Sea pollution

In the ocean, the oil carrier ships transport millions of tons of oil. After technical reasons or crashes, this oil spills and spreads over the surface of the ocean. Because the sun’s rays are not accessible in the ocean currents, thus the life of aquatic creatures and vegetation falls into crisis.

7. Heat or thermal pollution

Water and rivers of ponds are used to reduce the ultra-thermal impact of various reactors in various productive machinery. This water, which has been heated as a result of the cooling process,  then it is put in water sources. Such hot water increases the temperature of the water sources, thereby polluting the water.

 The special effect of thermal pollution is on water bodies. Large organisms cannot tolerate high temperatures. Increased temperature of the water also decreases the oxygen solubility and increases the amount of salts.

8. Radioactive waste and vapor

At present, numerous radioactive particles from atomic explosions spread far into the atmosphere and later gradually fall on the earth, which goes to the water sources for various reasons and the food Through the series, they reach the human body. Radioactive substances combined with water sources make the water toxic. Because the disruption of radioactive particles is very slow, their effects on water persist for a long time.

Effects of water pollution

The amount of water pollution has increased so much that the entire ecosystem is messy. Water life is in danger due to water pollution, many sea creatures are disappearing and we are responsible for all this. The effects of water pollution are the following:

1. Effects on human health

Industrial wastes generate heavy metals in the form of leachate, that pollute the watersheds, while most of the side effects are seen on underground water life. Due to natural or various human activities, the water does not become potable due to the addition of heavy metals in the water. The side effects of various metals on human health are as follows: –

ChromiumSkin disease, itching, cancer
Beryllium, ArsenicCancer
CadmiumNausea, diarrhea, heart disease, high blood pressure, decay of blood cells
FluorideDecay of bones
Leaddisease in pregnancy, Anemia, cancer, effects on the nervous system
ManganeseRespiratory disease, pneumonia, skin disease
MercuryEffects on the brain, highly toxic, effects on the nervous system
Organic chemicalWorm disease, stomach disease
SeleniumHair loss, skin diseases

2. Effects on animals and plants

Water pollution not only creatures and human beings, trees and plants are also not untouched. Toxic metals in polluted water cause many diseases in plants, such as excess spots of aluminum cause speckled spots, white leaves are smeared in the leaves by cobalt.

3. Acidic or alkaloid of soil

Water from the mining of sulfide ore becomes acidic, which gets acidified when finding in the river basins. Similarly, when the acidic water comes into the rivulets, the soil becomes also acidic. The alkaline water from the limestone quarries also makes the soil and water sources alkaline and fertility is lost. Life of aquatic animals when water is acidic or alkaline gets in danger

4. Eutrophication  (effect of organic matter present in contaminated water)

The addition of phosphate and nitrate-containing organic compounds in freshwater leads to a rapid and unexpected increase in the number of algae and other aquatic plants found in them due to the increase of nutrients in the water. This phenomenon is called eutrophication.

Due to domestic sewage and residual flow in water sources, the pond and lake water are rich in nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, due to which the oxygen and sunlight cannot reach the depth due to the growth of algae and other aquatic vegetation. Fishes can die due to excessive oxygen deficiency. These flora and algae are collected in the pond after death, while the lack of oxygen also leads to the accumulation of organic matter and as a result the volume (depth) of the lake decreases. Natural malnutrition occurs in hundreds of years, but due to waste and dirty water, it leads to rapid nutrition due to which the filling capacity of the ponds is reduced.

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