Types of Water Pollution and How to Prevent It From Happening
Closely following after air pollution, water pollution is the most common and evasive type of pollution that affects not only our lakes, rivers, and oceans, but also the health of our bodies. In fact, when we drink water that has come from any waterway, we are drinking residue of whatever the waterway (lakes, oceans, rivers, etc.) were polluted with. This is even true when the most advanced purification techniques are put in place. Unfortunately, no purification technique can fully remove these contaminants from the water. However, while many people think of water pollution originating from a single source, what many people do not realize is that water pollution can occur from many sources, all of which raise havoc on the purity of the water itself.
Types of Water Pollution
Because there are many sources in which water pollution can originate from, it is important to find ways in which humanity can reduce some of these exposures to ensure the planet’s waterways and ocean/sea life can thrive. Here are some of the ways in which water can become polluted:
- Chemical pollution: This type of pollution is the most common way that water ends up polluted. Chemical pollution occurs when chemicals, such as contamination from pesticides and fungicides used in farming, evade underground water sources. Furthermore, heavy metals and solvents used in industrial sites are major contributors to this type of pollution.
- Groundwater pollution: As just mentioned, agricultural runoff, particularly with fertilizers and pesticides, can be absorbed into the ground and thus seep into underwater rivers and other waterways. This then compromises the integrity and health of the water, especially when it is extracted for human consumption.
Microbiological pollution: While the previously listed sources of pollution occur from external measures, often as a byproduct of human means, microbiological pollution is naturally occurring. This type of pollution occurs as a result of microorganisms, such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, living in the water. Microorganisms are especially dangerous and can cause life-threatening diseases or fatality if not properly decontaminated before drinking. Unfortunately, many under-developed countries or low-income countries are susceptible to drinking this contaminated water as there are no adequate treatment systems in place to filtrate their water.
Nutrient pollution: Although nutrients are vital to ensure life from underwater organisms survive, if nutrients are too plentiful they can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem and cause more harm than good. As such, if water is contaminated with fertilizers, it can block out sunlight and, therefore, stunt the growth of other underwater organisms.
Oxygen-depletion pollution: When algal blooms flourish in water, they utilize a lot of oxygen consumption to survive. This means that algal blooms can take up the oxygen needed from other organisms to survive, thus killing off the organisms that help keep the water healthy and clean. As such, algal blooms can produce harmful toxins in the water which makes it dangerously unsafe for animal and human consumption.
Surface water pollution: This type of pollution can occur naturally, accidentally, or intentionally. For example, if there is an accidental, or even intentional, oil spill or industrial waste runoff, the water can quickly become contaminated and polluted.
How to Prevent the Different Types of Water Pollution from Occurring
There many ways in which you can contribute to the betterment and health of the waterways. Here are some ways you can help prevent water pollution:
- Make sure you do not overuse pesticides or fertilizers if you garden. This can greatly help the amount of runoff contaminants that make their way into nearby rivers, lakes, or oceans.
- Be mindful of littering. Throw away any litter you see on beaches or by waterways (if it is safe to collect). As such, don’t throw any of your own trash on the ground and instead find a nearby garbage/recycling bin to put it in.
- Conserve your water. By turning off water that you aren’t using you are, in fact, helping to reduce the amount of contaminated water that needs to be treated.
- Think about what you are putting down your sink or toilet. Never put paints, oils, medical waste or other litter down the drain or toilet. This goes for fat and grease, as well. These substances clog sewer pipes and cause them to back up into yards and basements, which in turn, can contaminate local waterways.
- Avoid household chemicals and pesticides as much as possible and instead opt for “green” products that have less chemicals and dangerous toxins in them. This will naturally cut down on the amount of toxic chemicals entering the waterways.
- Try to eat more organic foods when you can. These types of foods are produced with less synthetic pesticides and chemicals and, in turn, reduce the amount of chemical pollution that ends up in freshwater sources.
- Support companies that advocate for environmental protection procedures. Your donations or purchase of their products can help support a greater anti-pollution movement for a greater portion of the population to follow.
Companies that Prevent the Types of Water Pollution from Happening
In order to reduce the amount of contaminants polluting the water, it is vital that each of us do our part in protecting our environment. One way to do this is to drink bottled water that is packaged in either aluminum or glass bottles. Both of these substances are reusable and do not impact the health of waterways like plastic does. Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose and raises serious havoc on the well-being of our water, thus contributing to the water pollution crisis. Aluminum cans, on the other hand, are easily reused and decompose quickly. This makes aluminum a great contributor to the reduction of both water and air pollution.
Therefore, one of the best ways to start reducing the amount of water pollution is to switch plastic water bottles to aluminum rainwater bottles. Not only will you be making a lasting impact on the environment but you will be supplying your body with the cleanest, most sustainable water on the planet.