The Consequences of Surface Water Pollution and How to Create a Healthier Planet

Water is the most valuable commodity in the world. Without it, no human could survive. In fact, a human can survive without food for weeks, however, can only survive without water for about three to four days

While we all know that water is vital to health, well-being, and survival the water supplies we are receiving in this day and age are becoming more and more polluted by the day. How is this so? The answer to this lies in the unfortunate reality that most water becomes polluted through man-made choices. This means that every choice we make on a day-to-day basis can either promote wellness and vitality to our planet and, thus, the water supplies or it can bring tremendous destruction. 

Because freshwater supplies are among the most vulnerable to contamination, it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that the choices we make can help heal our planet’s water supplies so that we as a species have a chance to renew our own health and well-being, as well. 

What is Surface Water Pollution?

Surface water pollution is a type of pollution that occurs above ground, such as in oceans, streams, lakes and rivers. These waters become polluted due to contaminated rainwater runoff that gets transported into nearby water sources. Some of the leading causes of water contamination include runoff from things like fertilizers from farms and homeowner lawn care and salts and chemicals from city and highway roads. Surface water can also become contaminated through sewage leaks and waste products from animal factories. These types of pollutants are extremely harmful and even be deadly for human consumption as it carries with it high levels of pathogens and waterborne diseases. Health problems such as giardia, typhoid and hepatitis are extremely common when unfiltered contaminated water is drunk, even in the smallest doses. Even swimming in these polluted waters can cause these health issues as the water can easily enter the mouth or infect the skin and eyes. 

Another type of pollution caused by nutrients and fertilizers is called nutrient pollution. This type of water contamination is caused when too many nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, are absorbed into waterways and an excessive growth of algae is created. The reason that nutrient pollution is so dangerous to freshwater sources is due to the fact that the overabundance of plants and algae created by nutrient pollution covers the water surface and prevents sunlight from reaching the plants underwater. As a result, less oxygen is produced, causing harm to any organism that needs oxygen to breath, like fish. 

As you will see in the next section, the consequences of surface water pollution are many. Therefore, in order to mitigate or prevent the widespread epidemic of surface water pollution we will need to learn ways in which we can contribute to the betterment of the planet as a whole. 

Consequences of Surface Water Pollution 

As previously mentioned, surface water pollution is detrimental to the health and well-being of not only humans but all living creatures, as well. When freshwater sources become contaminated, every living plant and animal that depends on water for survival start to degrade and possibly even die off. As a result, our food chain starts to dwindle and we as humans can suffer from lack of fresh, healthy food supplies. This equates to our health also declining. 

Furthermore, despite best efforts to decontaminant water, when water supplies are heavily polluted there is little solution to restoring it back to health. Because no decontamination process can fully remove all of the chemicals and pollutants absorbed by the water this means that, unfortunately, we end up drinking water that isn’t fully clean and pure. Once again, if water isn’t clean from contamination, our health starts to go downhill. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that there are 2.1 billion people around the world who do not have access to safe, clean water. This means that as the quality of water starts to diminish, more people around the world will begin to suffer from the health consequences resulting from drinking unsafe water.

But before you start thinking that surface water pollution only affects the health of lower-income or third world countries, you better think twice. Although the U.S. has one of the safest drinking water systems in the world, there are still an estimated 4-32 million people affected by some sort of disease or sickness resulting from drinking unclean water. As such, it is vital that each one of us do our part in ensuring we take better care of our planet and, thus, the water supplies so that we can live longer and healthier lives moving forward. 

How to Reduce Surface Water Pollution 

It is our responsibility as humans to make more conscious choices that bring about a healthier planet and waterway system. In order to start taking action against surface water pollution each of us needs to start making small, impactful decisions on a daily basis. One way you can go about doing this is to clean up your trash and recycle when you can. Furthermore, if it’s safe to do so, cleaning up other trash you see can greatly improve the quality of the planet. 

Another way to significantly reduce surface water pollution is to switch from using plastic water bottles to a reusable aluminum bottle. Plastic water bottles are among the greatest offenders to waterway health as a majority of it never gets recycled and instead ends up in freshwater sources where it takes hundreds of years to degrade. As such, utilizing aluminum water bottles, which easily decompose and are more often recycled and reused is a great way to contribute to the vitality of our environment. 

If you are looking to start aiding in the health of our planet and, thus, the freshwater sources make the switch from plastic water bottles to aluminum water bottles today. Not only will the environment thank you for making the switch but your body will be grateful that it’s getting the cleanest, purest water on the planet.