Environmental Pollutants: Sewage and Fossil Fuels
Environmental pollutants, according to the Blacksmith Institute (2013) negatively affect billions of the world’s population as a result of exposure to poisons associated with sewage and the fossil fuel crude oil. These poisons have led to long-term detrimental effects on ecosystems and has attributed to the premature deaths of 40% or 2.8 billion of the world’s population of which three million children under the age of five die prematurely because of exposure these contaminants. Researchers estimate that this number will grow to approximately 3.6 billion by 2050 if these invasive toxins continue to remain prevalent in the world’s environment (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 2012). In this paper, Team D will discuss the effects that sewage and crude oil have on the quality of air, soil, and water, environmental biological diversity, disposal methods, and alternative solutions toward the use of crude oil (University of Phoenix, 2013, Week Five Syllabus). Sewage
As defined by Oilgae (2013) sewage refers to wastewater that commonly derives from liquid or solid human activities that contaminate the Earth’s air, soil, and water. These contaminates contain infectious organisms, referred to pathogens that cause diseases, such as bacteria dysentery and cholera, viral diseases of hepatitis and polio, and protozoal disease of amoebic dysentery and giardiasis (Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 2002). Additionally, as stated by Nakate (2013) these toxins alter biological diversity through eutrophication, which degrades water quality, ultimately alters aquatic species, hinders native plants, and increases biological oxygen demand (BOD). As the rise in levels of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous as well as organic wastes in water pathways initiates extreme growth of bacteria and algae that proves lethal to living organisms as well as disrupts the function and structure of the entire ecosystems. These pollutants generally fall under four specific categories; commercial, industrial, sanitary, and surface runoff and effective management of their sewage waste byproducts (Oilgae, 2013). Commercial
According to Oilgae (2013), this category contains liquid and solid waste materials associated with offices, restaurants, and service organizations in which sewage waste, such as cleaning chemicals or garbage placed in open air dumpster’s seep into the surface soil and water, or emit into the air through decomposition. Industrial
This sewage originates from discarded water employed during the chemical and manufacturing process, such as mining (Oilgae, 2013). Mining produces high-levels arsenic, cyanide, and sulfuric acid wastewater or tailing, which miners dump into surface water pathways or pile uncovered that contaminates ground water, soil, and air through emissions of the toxic dust particles and through rainwater (Blacksmith Institute, 2012). Sanitary
Shandilya (2013) defines this category as domestic waste initiated from institutional and residential activities that dispense wastewater associated detergents, soaps, and human bodily wastes that drain into sewage systems, lakes, or streams, which contaminates drinking water and harms animals and aquatic life. Surface Runoff
This category represents as agricultural sewage, which includes fertilizers and pesticides that contain rich nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, which accelerates enrichment leading to eutrophication as the waste travels through rainwater or dumped into water pathways (Shandilya, 2013). Sewage Waste Management
The effective management of sewage waste would include abolishing untreated sewage and enforce a pre-treatment process that includes extensive filtering of effluents, employing microbes that convert wastes into solids; therefore, easily...