Dirty Water

Water pollution is the contamination of our water supply in lakes, rivers, ground and surface water. This contamination might appear over time due to direct or indirect discharging from industrial or commercial premises without the proper removal of harmful chemicals. Surface water includes rivers and lakes and groundwater applies to water that seeps into soil and is found underground. Chemical pollution occurs when farmers use chemicals to control insects, pests and weeds and the pesticides end up in the water supply. Factories might use metals and solvents and these too can end up in the water.

As you can imagine this will have considerably harmful effects to the ecosystems which support life and will most likely get into the food chain and be consumed by animals and humans. There are also some naturally occurring forms of pollution that affect our water and these include a process called Oxygen depletion pollution. Micro-organisms that live in water can be aerobic or anaerobic. When too much biodegradable substance occurs in the water, this encourages more growth of microorganisms which in turn use up more of the water’s oxygen. The aerobic organisms die off and the anaerobic ones increase causing harmful toxins to be released including ammonia and sulfides.

Some pollutants, like chemicals and particles, don’t easily dissolve in water and can lie suspended in the water. They later settle and this can be extremely harmful and even deadly to organisms that live beneath the body of water.

Our water bodies can also be affected by air pollution resulting in acid rain production. Pollutants in the air mix with rain water and fall back to the ground to absorbed by soil. This will damage the soil over time and remove important nutrients that support and sustain the ecosystem. For Land Remediation Services, visit http://www.ashremediation.co.uk/

Wastewater and sewage can sometimes end up in natural water bodies and because they both contain high levels of nutrients, this encourages the growth of algae and weeds. The water becomes undrinkable and the algae will starve the water of oxygen and kill aquatic wildlife in that water.


Image credit

All water pollution happens either via non-point or point systems. Non-point is the terminology used for an indirect source of pollution such as agricultural run-off and industrial activity. It is very difficult to pinpoint the original source of pollution in these cases but toxic waste still gets into the supply through melting snow, rivers and rainwater drainage systems. A point source, however, is an identifiable cause such as a damaged drainage system or broken pipe.