What is water pollution?
Water pollution is the release of harmful substances into rivers, lakes, ponds, underground, and seawater. Often in the form of chemicals or microorganisms, these substances invalidate the water usage by rendering it dangerous for human consumption and destroying flora and fauna within the ecosystem. Here you will find information on water pollution, its sources, causes & solutions at home and in the workplace.
Water pollution sources
The sources of water pollution are identified as a point source and non- point source.
1. Point Source Pollution – the source of pollution can be traced to an individual location such as a discharge pipe
2. Non-Point Source Pollution – the source is not identifiable; it is from a combination of pollutants within a large area
Causes of water pollution
There are many causes of water pollution. It is often difficult to determine an exact source; however, the following are often key contributors:
When toxic bacteria, protozoa, chemicals, and metals from the manufacturing process are untreated and enter into local water sources.
Agricultural fertilizers: Farmers often utilise agrarian chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides to help with the growth of their crops. However, leaching can occur, resulting in increased levels of Nitrogen and Phosphorus within local groundwater.
Untreated sewage contains harmful microorganisms, sometimes sewage pipes break, or water is not treated in line with EPA license requirements. Due to poor wastewater management, contaminates are released into water bodies.
Landfill runoff and waste such as plastic can enter the water system. As plastic is non- biodegradable, it can contaminate water, resulting in phenomena like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Oil spills from shipping, ports, and oil refineries at sea lead to significant water pollution. Oil in water is hazardous to marine life as it reduces the levels of dissolved oxygen and light penetrating the water.
Water pollution solutions at home:
There are some simple ways you can reduce water pollution from home:
- Switch to eco-friend chemical cleaners
- Do not dispose of fats, oils, and greases down sinks or water drainage systems
- Maintain your car, so it doesn’t leak chemicals such as oil, antifreeze, or coolant.
- Avoid using fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides in your garden
- Do not flush tampons or sanitary pads down the toilet
- Always clean up after your dog and dispose of faeces correctly
Water pollution solutions in the workplace:
It is imperative to establish a framework for systematically reviewing and reducing your organisation’s environmental aspects. Conducting environmental compliance evaluations at periodic intervals is vital to determine existing and potential environmental liabilities.
Within your organisation’s aspect register, it is important to note down specific legislation or regulations, which may apply to water within your jurisdiction. The aim is to have discharged to sea as a low aspect once full consideration to lifecycle and review of compliance is carried out.
Thank you for reading
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this blog. Here at The Sustainability Strategy, we aim to build a community that openly discusses their environmental views. If you enjoyed the content and would like to get involved in the Sustainable growth conversation, I would love to hear from you. You can find me on Pinterest, and Instagram.
Keep it Green,