One of the most important resources on our earth is water. Clean water is vital to our communities, economy, and most of all, our health. In fact, humans are made up of more than 60% water, and we need clean water to survive. Unfortunately, much of our water on earth is polluted and it is one of the major crises facing the world today. The causes of water pollution are many and we will need to take several measures in order to save this precious resource.
Causes of Water Pollution
Every living thing depends on water to survive. Learn the 6 main causes of water pollution and how we can help reduce the risks. Click To Tweet Humans depend on clean water to not only survive but also to thrive. Sadly, obtaining clean water is becoming harder and harder each year. So, what is causing water pollution? Here are six common causes:
- Rapid Urban Development
- Improper Sewage Disposal
- Fertilizer Run-Off
- Oil Spills
- Chemical Waste Dumping
- Radioactive Waste Discharge
1) Rapid Urban Development
Anytime there are massive numbers of people conglomerated in one dense area, a physical disturbance of the land follows. The building of new roads, houses, and industries affect the cleanliness of the water through the use of detergents, chemicals, and exhaust emissions. When it rains, these chemicals are washed into the rivers and streams, and eventually into the drinking water supply.
2) Improper Sewage Disposal
More and more, improper sewage disposal is becoming a major world issue. Every time you flush, the waste goes somewhere…either to a sewage treatment facility and from there, remaining sewage is dumped into the oceans.
3) Fertilizer Run-Off
Between people attempting to keep their yards vibrant green and weed-free, and farmers coping with the growing population, fertilizers play a large roll in the cause of water pollution on this planet. The result is dangerous algae blooms which eventually lead to the extinction of many underwater plants, as well as fish.
4) Oil Spills
You might be thinking of big oil spills like that of the Exxon Valdez, but while these types of oil spills do cause water to become polluted, oil leaks from vehicles and mechanic trades are another main cause of water pollution. The spilled oil mixes with groundwater and makes its way into streams and rivers.
6) Chemical Waste Dumping
Big factories are notorious for dumping chemicals into the ocean. Highly toxic substances such as detergents, polychlorinated biphenyls, and lead are discharged into our environment every day.
7) Radioactive Waste Discharge
There are nuclear power plants all around our country, and the government allows “permissible levels” of radioactive water to be released into the environment every day. And, while it’s permissible–it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Likewise, accidents have been known to occur, releasing horribly high amounts of harmful radioactive chemicals to be released into the air, water, and soil.
Reduce the Risks of Water Pollution
While many big corporations are at fault for the contamination of our water supplies, there are things we can do to help reduce the risks of water pollution. Some things you can do to help keep your water system clean is to:
- Never pour fat drippings (or any type of grease) down your drain or disposal.
- Never pour household chemicals down the drain or toilet.
- Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. Avoid flushing anything down the toilet except toilet paper.
- Never flush old medications down the toilet.
- Use minimal detergent, or opt for an earth-friendly brand that is free from phosphates and sulfates.
- Minimize the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides. Never dispose of these down a nearby sewer drain.
ProTip: Your drinking water can give you health or, if your water is polluted, it might make you sick. By administering a microbial water test on your drinking water, you can make sure it is clean and ready for consumption.
If you are concerned about the water in your area and home, it is a good idea to have your water tested. By putting your water through USP water tests to analyze your drinking water panel, you can learn what is in your water and then properly treat it. This is especially important for people with chronic illness or lower immune functions.
Contact us to learn more causes of water pollution and how to reduce the risks.