The Sources Of Water Pollution

Water pollution is prevalent all over the world. Several countries are suffering from intense pollution. The irony is that the highly industrialized, developed countries suffer from the highest margin of pollution. Many factors are held responsible for these problems – industrialization, population and poor water treatment plants. The top five polluting countries are China, USA, Russia, India and Japan.

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Globally, the water and sanitation crisis claims most lives. Some 6,000 children die daily due to lack of safe drinking water. The death tolls are equal to those who die due to 20 aircraft crashes.UN statistics show 2 million tons of human waste is disposed in water bodies daily. Developed countries dump 70% of industrial wastes untreated leading to contamination.The following are the sources of water pollution:

Fertilizers: Synthetic fertilizers leech into rivers through rainwater or improper irrigation. Drained fertilizers give enrichment of nutrients which gives rise to algae; causing Eutrophication. This disrupts the life cycle of marine animals by using up oxygen. If continued it will lead to 15% global increase in nitrogen flow into rivers in 30 years.

Chemical industries: Untreated chemical when released affects marine life, as sewage contains a high amount of pathogens which spread disease.

Oil Spills: While huge oil tankers leak during transit, massive quantities of oil are spilled into oceans resulting in deaths of marine life. They die of hypothermia as oil sticks to their scales/feathers and they are not able to breathe and fly. As the water temperature fluctuates aquatic animals die. Oil spills have greater effects because of the fact that they are difficult to clean up.

Continentally, Africa has highest amount of polluted water, having its greatest impact on South-Africa. African government has taken action by implementing laws and measures but they are not just enough. Africa being a developing continent, cannot afford the cost of treating all the waste. Some industries dispose the waste directly in water bodies.

Even if a country is developed it can suffer from water pollution. Lithuania and Estonia (Europe) have 70% of all surface water polluted due to industrial activities. Due to Poland’s water polluted it is in shortage for water for industrial use. Baltic Sea is the most polluted sea in the world.In Asia most polluted waters are to be found in China, having 80% of its water polluted due to industrial waste. Japan’s majority populace is affected by Mina-Mata disease caused by methyl-mercury from the industrial wastewater of the Chisso Corporation’s chemical factory. This is a highly toxic chemical that can kill fishes. The fishes when eaten by the local people result in mercury poisoning. The possible outcomes are insanity, paralysis, coma and eventually death.

Clean tap water is not available across USA, mostly up north, while other states receive contaminated water. The Senate and the Congress in America passed The Water Act in 1974 that could set national limits on certain contaminants in tap water.

Australia has a comparatively low rate of water pollution. Many water projects are underway in Australia and people are enthusiastically helping to solve the problem of unsafe drinking water. Main source of pollution at Sydney’s beach is affluent discharge from Bodi and Malabar waste water treatment plants. Waste water treatment plants collect waste water and remove solids and then treat waste water before realizing it into the environment. Water treatment can lead to greater life expectancy and deaths caused by contaminated water can be reduced.

11 February 2020

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