- Causes: Chemicals, waste dumping
- Effects: Sickens or kills organic life
- Types: Surface, ground, nutrient, oil spill
- Deaths: 1,400 deaths daily
- Solutions: Conservation, treatment
- Most Polluted: Lake Karachay
- Biggest Oil Spill: Gulf War
- US Most Polluted: Mississippi River
- US Legislation: Clean Water Act
- World Water Day: March 22
- Definition: Water Pollution Is Contamination of Bodies of Water
- Effects: Water Pollution Affects Plant and Animal Life
- Causes: Causes of Water Pollution Lead to Contamination
- Types: Multiple Types of Water Pollution Overlap
- Solutions: Don’t Litter: Protect Our Water Supply
- Effects: More Than 1,400 People Die from Water Pollution Daily
- Solutions: Clean Water Act Supports Water Treatment
- Effects: Clean Drinking Water Is a Global Issue
- The Ganges River is One of the Most Polluted Waterways
- 55% of American Rivers Are Polluted
- Water Pollution Increases Risks of Infection
- Lake Karachay May Be the World’s Most Polluted Lake
- The US’s Most Polluted Waterway is the Mississippi River
- Exxon Valdez Was the US’s Largest Oil Spill
- The Gulf War Was the Largest Oil Spill onto a Waterway
- World Water Day Aims to Educate
Water Pollution Is Contamination of Bodies of Water
Water pollution facts tell us that sometimes factories, farms and cities dump waste and sewage into local waterways. This causes water pollution by contaminating the water with harmful compounds. Water pollution is also caused when water runoff picks up toxic chemicals, trash and dirt on its way to a tributary.
Water Pollution Affects Plant and Animal Life
Contaminated water adversely affects the plants and animals that live in the water, as well as those that depend on the water for nourishment. This includes humans. If a source of drinking water is contaminated, plants, animals and humans can become ill or die.
Causes of Water Pollution Lead to Contamination
There are several causes of water pollution. At its core, water pollution is the contamination of a body of water. According to water pollution facts, this can happen when sewers empty into rivers, when chemicals from farms run down into water, or when factories and plants dump hazardous waste into waterways. Even rainwater and snow can cause water pollution if it is contaminated by chemicals on rooftops and lawns. Dumping trash into waterways also has negative impacts on the health of the water and the creatures and plants that rely on it.
Multiple Types of Water Pollution Overlap
There a many different types of water pollution and sometimes one type of water pollution may overlap with another. Nutrients pollution is caused by nutrient-rich wastewater finding its way into rivers, lakes, and oceans. The nutrients may help algae and weeds grow, making the water unfit for human consumption and possibly depleting oxygen levels in the water, killing other organic life in the process.
Surface water pollution occurs when chemicals spill into the waterways on the surface of the Earth. Groundwater pollution is when chemicals seep through soil and contaminate water beneath the surface of the Earth. Oxygen-depleting pollution is when oxygen is leached out of the water by too many organisms. Nutrient pollution can lead to oxygen-depleting pollution, just as other types of water pollution converge as well. Other types of pollution include oil spills and suspended matter pollution.
Don’t Litter: Protect Our Water Supply
One way in which we can protect our waterways is to make sure our trash makes its way to a landfill. When trash gets washed away by rain, it ends up in rivers, creeks and lakes, contaminating those waterways. Using safe fertilizers and fewer chemicals on lawns, as well as properly maintaining sump pumps, can help protect against water pollution. On a larger scale, water treatment facilities aim to scale back the contamination of surface water to ensure a supply of safe drinking water and the protection of plants and animals that rely on water sources.
More Than 1,400 People Die From Water Pollution Daily
Though it is hard to calculate the exact extent of such a far-reaching epidemic, it is believed that at least 1,400 people die daily because of water pollution. Water pollution of drinking water can cause infections and diseases, especially in densely populated areas.
Clean Water Act Supports Water Treatment
According to water pollution facts, the Clean Water Act became law in 1972 in the United States. It aims to protect the nation’s waterways by limiting chemicals dumped into waterways and supporting the treatment of the waterways by public organizations.
Clean Drinking Water Is a Global Issue
Polluted drinking water can lead to infection, disease, and even death. In areas with high population density or industrialization, clean drinking water can be hard to come by. Asia, which is home to more than half the world’s population, has some of the most polluted waterways. China, India, and Bangladesh are attempting to treat their polluted rivers in order to protect their citizens and provide clean drinking water.
The Ganges River Is One of the Most Polluted Waterways
The Ganges River provides approximately 40% of India’s drinking water. Although it provides water to so many people, it is also one of the most polluted rivers in the world. The Ganges also an important Hindu holy spot. Millions of pilgrims visit the river each year to wash their feet in it. Water pollution facts indicate the government is considering whether it is even safe enough to continue that ritual.
55% of American Rivers Are Polluted
Water pollution facts show that in 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency released a report stating that 55% of American rivers were in poor condition and could not sustain healthy biological life. Only 21% of American rivers were considered healthy.
Water Pollution Increases Risks of Infection
Polluted water increases the risk of a wound becoming infected, or may lead to a ear, nose or throat infection. Individuals near polluted water should not drink it or swim in it as water pollution can increase the populations of bacteria that cause certain diseases.
Lake Karachay May Be the World’s Most Polluted Lake
Located in Russia, Lake Karachay may be the world’s most polluted lake. The Worldwatch Institute released a report in 2012 that highlighted the dumping of nuclear waste into the lake during the 1950s. Efforts to stem irradiation caused by the pollution have not yet shown themselves to be successful.
The US’s Most Polluted Waterway Is the Mississippi River
Part of the Mississippi River is nicknamed the dead zone because of the levels of water pollution. This is especially bad because the river empties out into the Gulf of Mexico. It takes trash and pollutants with it, causing an algae bloom that kills many organisms in the water.
Exxon Valdez Was the US’s Largest Oil Spill
The US’s largest oil spill occurred in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez collided with a coral reef. The tanker is believed to have spilled over 10 million gallons of oil into the water. A decade after the spill, studies revealed that the long-term effects of oil spills may be further reaching than initially believed. While the Exxon Valdez was the United State’s largest oil spill, it doesn’t break the world’s top 10 oil spill list.
The Gulf War Was the Largest Oil Spill onto a Waterway
In 1991, retreating Iraqi forces opened oil well valves to slow down American Troops. Water pollution facts tell us approximately 240 to 336 million gallons of oil spilled into the Persian Gulf. It was the worst oil spill in history and it was done on purpose. Supposedly, the oil spill has caused little permanent damage to the ecosystem; however, approximately 25% of the oil washed up on the shores of Saudi Arabia.
World Water Day Aims to Educate
The UN has decreed March 22 to be World Water Day. The aim of World Water Day is to focus on different issues surrounding the world’s water supply, such as sustainability, pollution and sanitation. Organizations across the globe come together to share information and work towards better water conservation.
Water Pollution Facts – Facts about Water Pollution Summary
Water pollution is a serious problem that affects the world’s water supply. Water pollution can be caused by chemicals, trash and micro-organisms. In order to curtail water pollution, polluted water must be treated. The Clean Water Act in the US aims to stem the pollution of waterways by controlling how waste is dealt with and supporting treatment of water. Lake Karachay is the world’s most polluted waterway, thanks to nuclear waste.