Water Pollution: Is It as Big of a Problem as We Think?

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Water Pollution: Is it as big of a problem as we think?

The following essay will be looking at the factors that cause pollution, and the effect that pollution has on our world today. It will also investigate what it has in store for the future if things do not improve. It will also explore some of the methods used to treat and clean-up wastewater, and oil spills. Today, the industrialization of Canada is severely affecting this nations lakes, streams, and rivers. If something is not done to improve the situation it is going to have some severe environmental problems in its future. Today pollution is very high in both inland and marine waters. All different types of water pollution are contributing factors in this problem. Here are some things that are associated with pollution: Pathogens: Pathogens are disease causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. They usually come from human sewage. As pathogen numbers increase, so does the risk of human health. Biochemical Oxygen Demand: Organic wastes that decay in a body of water. decrease the amount of oxygen found in it. The living things in the lake need oxygen to survive. If the oxygen level is depressed to zero, all fish in the lake die. Any decomposition that does not contain oxygen starts to generate noxious gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide. Pulp and paper mills, and municipal sewage causes BOD. Nutrients: Nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, enrich waters and accelerate the aging of lakes and streams. Also, the result of this is rich plant life which prohibits recreational activities. Plankton blooms depress oxygen levels (as mentioned before) and therefore, endanger living organisms. Major sources of nutrients are municipal sewage and agricultural runoff. Toxic Materials: Can affect the health of aquatic organisms and their consumers, and the people who drink the contaminated water. The toxicants include lead, mercury, DDT, PCB, benzopyrene, oil, and dibutyl phthalate. These chemicals enter the lake through dumping by the factories. Temperature Changes: Temperature changes from waste heat discharges (like from a nuclear power plant) can cause pollution. This happens if their elevation reduces dissolved-oxygen levels, and accelerates eustrophication, which in turn affects the ecological processes and blocks the migration path of fishes. Acidification: Acidification (acid rain etc.) Is caused by sulfur and nitrogen oxide in the rain, which is caused by automobiles and large industries. Temperature Changes: The temperature of a body of water is changed by waste heat discharges, like that of a nuclear power plant. It affects ecological processes and blocks the migration paths of fish. Because of these pollutants Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta are threatened by water shortages, and the great lakes face problems in serious pollution. Rivers and streams are also greatly affected by these pollutants. The noticeable outcomes of these pollutants are these: Nitrates in drinking water can cause disease in infants that may sometimes end in death. Crops in a field can absorb sludge-derived fertilizer containing cadium, and when humans eat the crop it may result in acute liver and kidney damage. Sometimes lakes become artificially enriched with nutrients from the chemical fertilizers that run off cultivated fields into the water. This causes water that is unpleasant to drink due to bad odor, taste, and algae. Also, acid rain has left many lakes in Canada totally devoid of life.

There are three major sources of water pollution, they are municipal, industrial and agricultural. Municipal: This type of water pollution comes from the wastewater found only in homes and commercial establishments For many years people have been placing importance on treating the waste to remove harmful bacteria, etc. from it. Recently we are coming aware of the fact that we have to improve the ways in which we dispose of the waste. Industrial: Industrial waste is wastewater...
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