Water is a very important part of our lives. We use it for nearly everything – drinking, food preparation, laundry, dishes, hygiene, etc. We swim in it, boat in it, and play in it. In fact, 70% of our world is covered in water. However, 97% of that water is saltwater and we are unable to drink it, leaving only three percent of the planet’s water drinkable. But two percent of the world’s freshwater is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. Only one percent of this freshwater can be used and consumed. Therefore, it is especially important to care for the very limited amount of freshwater we have.
Unfortunately, we take advantage of this precious resource. We make choices that have a negative impact on water and the creatures that live in and near water. This negative impact is called water pollution. Ningthoujam Sandhyarani wrote that , “Water pollution is an undesirable change in the water contaminated with harmful substances.” (Sandhyarani, n.d.) It is one of the most major forms of pollution, second only to air pollution. Every year, 1.2 trillion gallons of polluted water are discarded into United States waters and once water is polluted, it is complicated and difficult to extract the pollutants from the water.
There are three main sources of contaminants that cause water pollution. These are industrial, domestic, and agricultural sources.
Industrial pollutants can be traced back to manufacturing and processing plants. They can consist of chemicals and organic waste. Many large-scale industries have created their own methods of treating their wastewater. But smaller industries do not always have the means to properly care for their waste, leading to industrial water pollution. It is both expensive and laborious to properly treat and dispose of wastewater from industrial sources.
Domestic wastewater is produced by our daily household tasks. It is composed of organic materials, including food and human waste, and inorganic materials, such as detergents, soaps,...
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