Effects Of Water Pollution
Humans, Plants, Animals and Environment

The effects of water pollution are worldwide.

Over the years, the effects of water pollution have increased significantly. Even though there are other types of pollution such as air pollution and land pollution but perhaps none is as detrimental as water pollution.

Water pollution is when water sources such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and seas are contaminated. It may also be defined as any chemical, biological or physical change in water.

What is alarming is that water pollution not only affecting humans but also animals, plants and the environment.

Even though over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water bodies, we still don’t have enough water to drink.

What makes it worse is that the water is being polluted and this reduces the water quality and supply.

In this article we will look at the causes of water pollution, the effects of water pollution and how we can reduce water pollution.

Before we look at the effects of water pollution, let’s take a brief look at the causes of water pollution.

Causes Of Water Pollution

  • The dumping of industrial wastes such as chemicals, organic chemicals, and oils into water sources such as rivers, streams and the ocean. This is very common all over the world especially with factories. Most governments impose strict fines on companies who dump wastes into rivers, seas and other water sources.
  • Pollution from rain water. When sulphuric oxides and carbon monoxide goes into the air, it reduces the PH of rain water and this can lead to more acidic water. When the PH of rain water goes below 6.5, it is called acid rain. This may lead to Forrest loss and fish fatalities.
  • Human pollution such as dumping of debris in rivers, streams, lakes and sea. Plastic bottles is the major source of this. How many times have we seen empty plastic bottles washed up on shores?
  • Washing and maintaining your vehicle. The detergent use to wash your car pollutes the water. Phosphorus and Nitrogen increases the growth of Algae. Algae reduces the oxygen in the water and results in the death of fish and other water organisms. In addition, oil and other petroleum products contaminate the water and kills plants, fish and aquatic life.
  • Pesticides and fertilizers.

Effects Of Water Pollution On Human Health

  • Recently linked to cancer.
  • Waterborne Diseases and sicknesses such as respiratory problems, diarrheal, gastroenteritis and cholera.
  • Water pollution can cause heart problems and poor blood circulation
  • Reduce fertility and increase in bone disorder.
  • Damage to the kidneys.
  • Increased incidence of skin disorders due to contact with pollutants.
  • Dangerous effects on growing fetus in pregnant women.
  • Weak immune system.
  • The flora and fauna of the rivers and oceans.
  • Pollution will alter the acidity, temperature and conductivity of water.
  • Increased incidence of tumors and ulcers due to nitrate pollution.

Effects Of Water Pollution On Animal Health

  • Kills life that inhibits polluted water. You will often hear of dead fish and animals that find themselves washed up on sea shores.
  • Water pollution disrupts the food chain. Tiny organisms, in search of water and food, will eat polluted food or water. Fish or animals eat these tiny organisms and the food chain continues to higher levels. Humans eat these animals and get sick. A good example of this is Hepatitis which can be passed on by eating poisonous seafood.
  • Reduced reproduction rate.

Effects Of Water Pollution On Plant Health

  • Acid rain is the number one effect that polluted water will have on plants. It will damage delicate plants such as cotton, wheat, tomatoes and tobacco. Acid rain washes nutrients out of the soil and lowers the pH level.
  • Polluted water will affect plant growth. Plant growth will become stagnant when polluted water goes into the soil.
  • Affects the appearance of plants. Plants will look dry and unhealthy.

Effects Of Water Pollution On The Environment

  • Water pollution can result in algae growth. When bacteria consume algae, the oxygen level decreases. This lower level oxygen affects all living organisms in its surroundings.
  • The erosion of soil can cause flooding, mainly when there is heavy rainfall.
  • According to US Environmental Agency, over 40 % of rivers and 46 % lakes are affected by water pollution.

Ways To Effectively Reduce Water Pollution

  • Education. We have to educate everyone about water pollution. Parents must teach their children not to litter.
  • Impose harsher laws. Some countries are too lenient on companies and persons who break the law when it comes to water pollution. In some cases, a committee should be setup to investigate and monitor community and business unhealthy activities.
  • When washing your car, try to use a non-phosphorus detergent. When servicing your car, ensure that oil or any other petroleum product does not escape into any water form that contains life or will be used.
  • Promote recycling. We all know about recycling but do we practice it? If you need to dispose of garbage and a bin is not close by what should you do? We all need to reduce and recycle, especially when it comes to plastic.
  • Buy a water purification system such as a water filter or water purifier. A water purification system will purify your water and remove some of the possible effects of water pollution.

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