Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies like lakes, rivers, ponds etc. Water pollution occurs when pollutants are directly or indirectly discharged into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds. Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.
Causes of Water Pollution
- Sewage from domestic households, factories and commercial buildings. Sewage that is treated in water treatment plants is often disposed into the water bodies. Sewage can be more problematic when people flush chemicals and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet.
- Dumping solid wastes and littering by humans in rivers, lakes and ponds
- Industrial waste from factories, which use freshwater to carry waste from the plant into rivers, contaminates waters with pollutants such as asbestos, lead, mercury and petrochemicals.
Effects of Water Pollution
Some of the effects of Water pollution are as:
- Some of the waterborne diseases caused in humans by polluted drinking water are Typhoid, Hookworm, Amoebiasis, Giardiasis, Ascariasis.
- Nutrient pollution (nitrogen, phosphates etc) causes overgrowth of toxic algae eaten by other aquatic animals, and may cause death; nutrient pollution can also cause outbreaks of fish diseases.
- May disrupt photosynthesis in aquatic plants and thus affecting ecosystems that depend on these plants.
- Terrestrial and aquatic plants may absorb pollutants from water (as their main nutrient source) and pass them up the food chain to consumer animals and humans.