< Water Pollution Sources: Dr. Abhinandan Bhardwaj explains about Sources of Water Pollution

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Sources Of Water Pollution

Lets know about various  water pollution sources

Dr. Abhinandan Bhardwaj PhD

 

Water pollution is a complex issue, from the source of pollution to its short-term and long-term impacts on human and other species that depend on it. Water pollution has become a big problem in the world today.  Every year we dump, 14 billions pounds of sewage, sludge, and garbage  into the world's water bodies  such as rivers, lakes and streams all of which eventually end up in  the oceans. 19 trillion gallons of waste also enter the water annually.

Effects of Water Pollution:

Effects of water pollution  include poisonous drinking water, poisonous food for animals, unbalanced river and lake ecosystems that can no longer support full biological diversity, deforestation from acid rain, and many other effects.

Water pollution does not just effect humans, it effects entire ecosystem. Birds and marine life are effected by it.

Sources Of Water Pollution:

Sources of pollution may be subdivided into point sources and non point sources.

A) Point Sources:

Point sources are sources from which pollutants are released at one readily identifiable spot, such as sewer outlet, a mill, a septic tank etc.
Industry:
Industry plays a major role in point source pollution. Industrial wasterwater and discharges include oils, greases, metals, chemicals, such as PCB's and pesticides, and debris that eventually head into the Cuyahoga River.

Oil Spills and Grease:

Oil spills and dumping also play a major role in point source pollution. Spilled grease, oil, and other hazardous substances from overturned trucks and leaking cars have a major impact by eventually running into rivers and sewers. Also, the disposal of used motor oil and grease affects the water by going into a storm sewer which can overflow into the river, or it will go directly into the river.

Other Point Sources:
Also affecting the water are outflow pipes from industries, companies, and other such buildings directly pouring their waste into the rivers and lakes. Thermal pollution decreases the waterÕs ability to hold oxygen.

 

B) Non point sources:

Non point sources are more diffuse, example would include fertilizer run off from farmland, acid drainage from an abandoned strip mine, or run off of sodium or calcium chloride from road salt etc.

Wastes, often being dumped with no permit include debris, raw sewage, public and private litter, natural debris, oils, scums, paints, chlorides, PAHÕs, organic carbon, metals (cadmium, chromium, iron, cyanide, lead, zinc, copper, and nickel), toxins from industries and home use, organic pollution (grass, leaves, human sewage, pet wastes, and dead organisms), and inorganic pollution (suspended and dissolved solids).

Bacteria levels increase in the Cuyahoga River following heavy rainfalls because of wastes upstream.

Sediment:

Sediments come from highly traveled, unvegetated, open space, abused stream banks, modification of streams and wetlands, other water bodies, high-till farming that make soil erode, decomposing material, and dredging for large ships to travel.

Runoff:

Runoff is referred to as any liquid substance that runs from one area to another and is not absorbed by the ground.

Urban runoff from buildings and streets include oil, grease, trash, road salts, lawn fertilizer, lead, metals, bacteria, and PCB's that run into surface and ground waters.

Agricultural storm water runoff from rain and snow melt carries animal wastes, pesticides, nutrients, and sediments into surface and ground waters.

Other storm water runoff contributors are logging, timber cutting operations, and construction sites.


Leakage:

Another nonpoint source of pollution is leakage. Abandoned surface mines and waste piles may leak sediments, acids, and chemicals. Improper disposal of waste directly into or above an aquifer can cause serious ground water contamination.


Sewers:

Combined sewer overflows which consist of storm water and untreated sewage and sanitary sewer overflows are a problem when they overflow into lakes and rivers. They put trash, sewage, bacteria, wastes, and other pollutants into the water.

 

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