ENGL 1312 - 34
26 April 2013
Water Pollution: Pollutants & Solutions
Imagine swimming out of a narrow cavern following a scrumptious meal, and you come to realize it was poisonous. You begin to drown as your life slowly fades right before your very eyes; this is not a frightening hallucination. Everyday, schools of fish are unaware that their meals are products of millions of tiny pieces of garbage, assimilated. This is one of the many consequences of water pollution, which is the contamination of water bodies caused by human activities that affect plants and animals residing at these sites. It is also a concern for human beings. “[Over seven hundred] million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water [and] 4,000 children die each day from unsafe water” (Clean Water Campaign). Based on the death toll, the effects of water pollution are undeniably devastating. Indeed, it is a perpetual struggle across the globe. One method of action is to become familiar with the different types of pollutants such as disease-causing agents, oxygen-demanding wastes, plant nutrients, organic chemicals, and radioactive materials, and to discover techniques to reduce their presence. It is essential to know the effect of disease-causing agents in order to decrease the illnesses of the population. Disease-causing agents, also known as pathogens, are viruses or bacteria that enter the body and cause an array of symptoms. Giardia lamblia, for example, derives from human feces and causes a parasitic disease known as Giardiasis. Although it is a global disease, it is most common in developing countries where “nearly 33% of people [in these regions] have had [Giardiasis]” (Parasites - Giardia). These countries possess inadequate sewage treatment, water scarcity, and overpopulation, which all contribute to the expansion of Giardiasis. A majority of pathogenic microbes are linked to several species such as parasitic worms, Salmonella, and Cryptosporidium. Although it varies by gender, race, and age, parasitic worms typically cause Schistosomiasis, which include abdominal pain, skin rash, and chronic fatigue. In contrast, Salmonella produces diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, while Cryptosporidium induces dehydration and weight loss (Hogan). Awareness of these diseases can reduce the death toll and improve the quality of life. Another factor that can disturb human health and water purification is filthy drinking water, which produces infectious diseases. “The most common illness associated in water polluted by sewage is [Gastroenteritis]. It [can have some] of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache, and fever” (Frankenberger). Generally, wastewater treatment of any kind is an oddity in several countries, which explains the fatality associated with low-quality drinking water. One of the most common types of bacteria in water is E.coli. In Safe Water Publications, the author states potential health effects of its levels and ways to condense it. Water quality standards are used to determine whether or not a particular E. coli level is adequate. The bacteria is mainly observed for its tendency to identify fecal contamination in polluted water (Breyer). Despite E. coli’s role as a disease-causing agent, it is capable of detecting pollutants in water. Other types of bacteria among E. coli also possess the trait of identifying contaminants. Fecal coliform is a bacteria that is a viral pollutant of water bodies. Although it is not necessarily harmful or an indicator of feces, it does specify a possibility of harmful pathogens in water. Since the bacteria is connected to human and animal waste, it can be washed into creeks, rivers, streams, or lakes during various types of precipitation. Human and animal waste can lead to numerous diseases, and poor hygiene can heighten its extent. The intensity of untreated waste can pollute river systems, lakes, and...
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