Water is an essential ingredient for life as well as a key element for our environment. The pollution of water has a great impact on all living things. According to James Roth, the US, 40% of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters are so contaminated that they are unfit for humans to fish in, swim in, or drink. As stated by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is estimated each year that seven million Americans become sick from contaminated tap water, some cases being lethal.
There are many different sources that contribute to water pollution. Runoffs from lawns, driveways, roads or sidewalks are a major contributor to water pollution. When an individual fertilizes their yard or sprays insecticide, when it rains those remaining chemicals are then washed away and then find its destination in our local streams. Same principle applies to the agriculture industry. There are many toxins that can be attributed to the farming industry. Some of the more toxic are fertilizers, manure, livestock waste and oil and other chemicals from the equipment. According to an article titled, “Pollution Potential of Livestock Manure”, raw manure is up to 160 times more toxic than raw municipal sewage. This causes great concern for all living creatures.
When these toxins enter into our water supply they create nitrite and nitrate. High levels of these can deplete our water of oxygen, killing the fish and all other aquatic animals. Nitrates as well as other toxins can also soak into the ground and end up in our drinking water resulting in illness or even death.
In order to resolve the greatest contributor of water pollution, we would have to do away with the agriculture industry. However, while this is a great idea it is not ever going to work. As humans, we depend on this industry far more than we know. They provide us with food, both from crops as well as animals. The best solution to this problem is to create an environmental friendly fertilizer. While...
References: Natural Resources Defense Council, retrieved April 12, 2008
http://protectingwater.com/agriculture.html, Retrieved April 13, 2008
Chastain, John P. “Pollution Potential of Livestock Manure,” Minnesota/Wisconsin Engineering Notes, Winter 1995.
Roth, James A., et al. “An Integrated Immunological-GIS Approach for Bio-monitoring of Ecological Impacts of Swine Manure Pollutants in Streams” US Geological Survey (accessed August 14, 2006).
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