Water Pollution Causes and Effects it Has on Your Drinking Water

We all know water is critical for life. In fact, a human can live for about three to four weeks without food but can only survive without water for three to four days. Since a human body is mainly made up of water, it is no surprise, then, that without water the body will stop functioning optimally and will, in turn, stop working altogether. Besides water being a necessity for survival, it is also necessary to help eliminate toxins throughout the body by excreting harmful and unnecessary toxins through the urine or breath.

However, despite water being a necessary component to survival and well-being, the truth of the matter is that not all drinking water is created equal. Unfortunately, most water is exposed to harmful water pollution that taints the purity of the water that one consumes. In fact, impure water is killing more people each year than all other acts of violence combined. As such, it is vital that one knows the causes and types of water pollution that water can be exposed to and how to find the cleanest, purest water available. By drinking only the purest water, one can guarantee that their body will reap maximum benefits so that their body will function most optimally and effectively. 

Categories and Causes of Water Pollution 

There are many ways in which water can become contaminated. Furthermore, because water is able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid, it is also most vulnerable to become polluted. Harmful chemicals from farms, fertilizers, cities and towns, and factories are just some of the ways that water pollution increases. Other categories of water pollution include:

  • Groundwater: groundwater soaks up contaminants such as pesticides and fertilizers, as well as, waste leached from landfills and septic systems. As such, this contaminated water finds its way into aquifers, making water unsafe for drinking. Regardless of the purification method used to purify the water, groundwater can never be fully cleansed from harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, despite this fact, nearly 40 percent of Americans rely on groundwater as a source of their drinking water.  
  • Surface water: accounting for more than 60% of the water delivered to American homes, surface water is the type of water that fills oceans, lakes, and rivers. Think of it as all the blue spots on the world map. Despite its widespread reach, a significant portion of that water is dangerous to drink. In fact, it’s so polluted that it is unfit for even swimming and fishing. The leading type of contamination in this type of water is nutrient pollution, which includes nitrates and phosphates. In addition, farm waste and fertilizers, along with municipal and industrial waste discharges contribute to the pollution of this freshwater.
  • Ocean water: Most marine pollution, in fact, eighty percent of it, originates from the land. Chemicals, nutrients, and heavy metals from farms, factories, and cities by streams flow into the water, causing immense contamination of ocean water. Furthermore, oil spills or leaks are consistently being absorbed by the water. 
  • Point source: Point source pollution occurs when contamination originates from a single source such as wastewater. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, regulates point source pollution from manufacturers, oil refineries, or wastewater treatment facilities, this type of pollution can affect miles of ocean and water sources.
  • Nonpoint source: Unlike point source pollution that has a single source, nonpoint source is contamination derived from multiple sources. This may include agricultural or stormwater runoff. This type of contamination is the leading cause of water pollution in the U.S., however, because it doesn’t originate from a single source it is extremely difficult to regulate. 
  • Transboundary: Because water pollution can’t be contained to a single place of origin, transboundary pollution causes contaminated water from one country to spill into the waters of another. Common causes of transboundary pollution include contamination from disasters, like an oil spill, or waste from industrial, agricultural, or municipal discharge.

As there are many categories of water pollution, there are also many types of water contamination. These include:

  • Agricultural: As one of the biggest consumers of global freshwater resources, agricultural practices, such as farming and livestock production, are some of the biggest water pollution offenders. In fact, in the U.S. agricultural pollution is the top source of contamination in rivers and streams, the second-biggest source of pollution for wetlands, and the third biggest contributor to water pollution in lakes. Every time it rains, fertilizers and pesticides, along with animal waste, are carried from farms into waterways. This, obviously, is extremely dangerous for humans to drink.

  • Sewage and wastewater: Wastewater is any water that has been used. Think: water that comes from sinks, showers, and toilets, etc. More than 80% of the world’s wastewater ends up flowing back into the environment, dumping toxic pollutants like pathogens, phosphorus, and nitrogen into the earth’s soil and eventually into waterways.
  • Oil pollution: Although many people think of only large oil spills occurring from oil extraction companies, the truth is that consumers account for the majority of oil pollution in our waterways. This includes oil and gasoline drips from the millions of cars that are on the road daily. 
  • Radioactive substances: Generated by uranium mining and nuclear power plants, as well as universities and hospitals that use radioactive materials for research and medicine, radioactive waste, especially when accidentally released or improperly disposed of, can cause serious damage to groundwater, surface water, and marine resources.

How the Causes of Water Pollution Affect Your Health

Consuming impure, contaminated water can be deadly to the human body. In fact, unsafe water causes about 1 billion people to become sick each year. Waterborne pathogens from disease-causing bacteria and viruses, particularly from human and animal waste, are a major cause of these illnesses. Diseases like: cholera, giardia, and typhoid are just some examples of diseases spread by drinking contaminated water. While this most commonly happens in low-income communities where clean drinking water is not made available, healthy nations are also put at risk if there is an accidental or illegal release from sewage treatment facilities or other such companies. Because of this, thousands of people around the U.S. become sick each year from Legionnaires’ disease, a severe pneumonia contracted by contaminated water. 

Because the risks associated with drinking unclean water are severe, it is essential that you drink only the purest water available to ensure your body stays functioning properly and optimally. This means that you should only drink water that is sourced from rainwater, as it never touches the ground and doesn’t get contaminated by chemicals absorbed from the soil. Furthermore, you need to ensure that your water is run through rigorous purification standards that not only meet federal standards but exceed them. 

Take care of your health today and drink only the purest water that this earth has to provide.


Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What are the main causes of water pollution?

There are many ways in which water can become polluted. Industrial, agricultural, and sewage waste are just some of the main causes of water pollution. Furthermore, oil pollution, radioactive substances generated by mining and power plants contribute to water pollution.

✅ How do humans affect water pollution?

Population growth, increased industrial and agricultural use of heavy metals or pesticides, and land pollution are just some of the ways in which humans contribute to water pollution.

✅ How can we avoid water pollution?

In order to avoid water pollution you need to ensure that no items such as household cleaners, pills, medications or fat from cooking are poured down sinks or flushed down toilets. This means that toilets and sinks should not be used as a wastebasket since contaminants make their way into waterways.

✅ What are examples of water pollution?

Some examples of water pollution include pollutants from runoff, such as: fertilizers and pesticides, oils, grease, and chemicals from automobiles, and heavy metals and chemicals deriving from industrial sites like factories and construction areas.