Water Pollution

Topics: Water pollution, Water, Waterborne diseases Pages: 4 (1368 words) Published: August 19, 2008
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, water pollution is defined as contamination of water resources by harmful wastes. In most cases this contamination is a result of people overloading the water environment with wastes. The scope of this problem covers any and all water sources including but not limited to streams, lakes, underground water, bays or oceans. II.Statement of Problem

It is no misconception that water is a necessary compound to all life on Earth. Absolutely all organisms need water in one form or another. Plants and animals including humans require water that is reasonably pure, and they cannot survive if their water is encumbered with toxic chemicals or harmful microorganisms. If severe, water pollution is capable of harming and even killing fish, birds, and other animals, in some cases wiping out the entire population of a species in that affected area. Pollution makes streams, lakes, and coastal waters unpleasant to look at, to smell, and to swim in. The fish and shellfish that live in these polluted waters are no longer suitable for consumption, so the harvesting of such could have impairing effects to the general population. Even though illness might or might not appear initially, the long term consumption of these fish can lead to the development of cancers and in some cases severe birth defects are passed on to offspring. III.Presentation of Data and Information

Water pollutants are classified into two groups; point source pollutants and non point source pollutants. A point source pollutant is a harmful substance that enters the water source directly such as an oil spill. A non point source pollutant is a pollutant that enters the water source indirectly through environmental changes such as fertilizer run off washed in by rainwater. Almost all pollutants can be described as either chemical, biological, or physical materials that have adverse effects to water quality. These pollutants can be furthered broken down...
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