Water – The Elixir of Life
Can you imagine life without water?
Take a minute and think about it.
We need water for all our daily essential activities –
drinking, bathing, cleaning…
In fact, every living thing on this planet needs water
And what do we do with this vital resource?
We take its all important ability – we all know that water can dissolve many of the thing that we dump in it – to make it a giant rubbish bin. In fact, we even throw things in it that water cannot dissolve, thus making the water unfit for drinking or any other use.
Water, that once was the elixir of life, thus becomes the
carrier of death and disease.
The perfect example of the river Ganga, which is now one
of the most polluted rivers in the world today.
Sources of water pollution
Sources of Water Pollution
Sources of water pollution, particularly groundwater pollution are group under two categories based on the origin of the
Point Source Pollution
Water pollution caused by point sources refers to the
contaminants that enter the water body from a single,
identifiable source like pipe or ditch. Point source pollutants can be discharges from sewage treatment plant, factories or
a city storm drain.
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Pollution caused by nonpoint sources
refers to the contamination that does not
originate from a single source. Nonpoint
source pollution is the cumulative effect of
small contaminants gathered in large area.
Leaching of nitrogen compounds from
agricultural land, storm water runoff over an
agricultural land or a forest are examples of
nonpoint source pollution.
Some major water pollutants are:
Sewage - Sewage pollutants include domestic and hospital wastes, animal and human excreta etc. The sewage let off causes oxygen depletion, spread of diseases/epidemics.
Metals - Metals like mercury are let off into water bodies from
industries. Heavy metals like mercury cause poisoning and affect health Lead
If lead vision and
enters the human
in higher quantities it affects RBCs, bone, brain, liver, kidney and mental
the nervous system. Severe lead poisoning can also lead to coma and death.
Cadmium - Source for cadmium pollution is industries, fertilizers. Cadmium gets deposited in visceral organs like liver, pancreas, kidney, intestinal mucosa etc. Cadmium poisoning causes vomiting, headache, bronchial pneumonia, kidney necrosis, etc.
Arsenic - Fertilizers are source for arsenic pollution. Arsenic poisoning
causes renal failure and death. It also causes liver and kidney disorders, nervous disorders and muscular atrophy, etc.
Agrochemicals like DDT - It is a pesticide. Accumulation of these pesticides in
Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites - These are sourced from human and animal
excreta, they are infectious agents.
Plastics, Detergents, Oil and Gasoline - They are a waste from industries, household and farms. They trigger organic pollution and is harmful to health.
Sediments - Sedimentation of soil, silt due to land erosion and deposition causes
disruption in ecosystem.
Plant Nutrients - Nutrients like nitrates, phosphates, and ammonium are let off
from agricultural and urban fertilizers, sewage and manure. Excess of nutrients cause eutrophication and affect the ecosystem.
Thermal Pollution - Temperature changes of water caused due to using water
as cooling agent in power plants and industries causes increase in water temperature affecting the aquatic life.
Water is as essential for life as air so water pollution has a direct impact on our lives. Different forms have different types -
Disease-causing microorganisms are referred to as pathogens. Although the vast majority of bacteria are...
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