Contamination of water bodies because of the discharge of pollutants into them is known as water pollution. After going through the Essay on Water Pollution, you will be able to understand the sources and effects of Water pollution and how to deal with it.
Essay on Water Pollution
According to the World Health Organization, any foreign matter either natural or other sources which contaminate and pollute the water or the water supply making it harmful for human and aquatic life is termed water pollution.
Gases, minerals, humus, and wastes created by living organisms are some natural wastes that pollute water. Industrial wastes include heavy metals and synthetic organic compounds. Discharge of these wastes into water bodies causes water pollution. Lead, manganese, and mercury affect marine life.
Drilling of oil under the sea may prove dangerous for marine life. Oil is transported to distant places by ships. An oil spill or tragedy at sea wherein the ship capsizes causes degradation of marine and aquatic organisms. It also threatens ecosystems that exist under the sea.
Water pollution may severely affect human, plant, and animal life. Accumulation of Nutrients and chemicals into water bodies results in the growth of phytoplankton and algae. This obstructs the penetration of oxygen and sunlight into water bodies which may result in the death of aquatic organisms.
When contaminated water is consumed, the pathogens enter the human body. It may cause various water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, and jaundice. Metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium dissolved in water may cause several diseases if they enter the human body. When water contaminated with cadmium was consumed by the Japanese, they were affected by a disease called itai-itai. Similarly, a disease known as Minamata affected the Japanese after they consumed fish that had a large concentration of mercury.
When phosphorus and nitrates from fertilizers are disposed of in water bodies, they promote the growth of algae. The presence of algae in water bodies in a large number reduces the amount of dissolved oxygen in water resulting in the death of fish and other water organisms.
Industrial effluents include chemicals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. When these chemicals reach the human body through the consumption of fish, they may cause irritation, insomnia, and nervous disorders, which may also affect the brain.
Thermal pollution increases the temperature of the water which in turn reduces the level of oxygen in the water. This results in the death of many species of fish. Oil drilling and oil spills contaminate seawater which may also lead to the death of marine organisms.
Measures should be taken to prevent water pollution before the situation goes out of control. Anti-pollution scientific methods should be devised.
Sources of water pollution which cause an inflow of pollutants over a large area are known as non-point sources. Example: Runoff from agricultural fields. The following steps should be taken to reduce water pollution from non-point sources:
- Two separate drainages should be built for sewage and rainwater so that both rainwater and sewage do not overflow together.
- Nitrogen-fixing plants should be planted to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers.
- Agrochemicals and pesticides should be used judiciously to prevent them from draining into a water body.
- Efforts should be made to prevent runoff of manures.
- Biofertilisers and biopesticides should be used.
Sources that discharge pollutants to only one specific site are known as point sources. Example: Discharge of effluents from the factory into a river. To prevent pollution from point sources, it is essential to first treat wastewater before it is discharged. Laws should be made carrying strict punishment for discharging untreated wastewater into any water body.
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