Sources, Effects and Control of Water Pollution
Any kind of adverse change in the chemical and physical characteristic of water makes it contaminated and unfit for use. This results in water pollution. Water pollution is defined as the addition of organic, inorganic and biological substances that degrades the quality of water.
Microorganisms causing degradation of water absorb most of the oxygen present in it.” Sewage produces foul odour and makes the water brownish and oily. Organic waste gives rise to filth making the water unhealthy and unfit for recreational and industrial use.
During rains, the impurities present on the surface of land and fertilizers added to the soils are washed down into lakes and other watercourses. This further contributes in water pollution. Moreover, toxic chemicals and metals presents in industrial wastes like lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, nickel, etc. are allowed to pass into water bodies. This makes water bodies unfit not only for aquatic animals but also for humans. Several types of liquid wastes containing toxic chemicals and acids are added to the rivers and other water bodies. They kill fish and other aquatic life besides being deadly to human beings.
Polluted water causes diseases like jaundice, typhoid, cholera and other long-lasting health problems. Moreover, oil spill from the oil ship tankers in the seas and oceans causes severe damages to marine birds, fishes and water dependent animals they are caught in the death trap. Even migrating birds in that area lose their power of flight.
Water pollution can be controlled largely on the principle, “the solution to pollution is dilution ” There are certain methods to control water pollution. The sewage pollutants are subject to chemical treatment to change them into non-toxic substances or make them less toxic. Water pollution due to organic insecticides can be reduced by the use of less strong chemicals during the manufacture of insecticides.
Domestic and industrial wastes should be stored in large but shallow ponds for some days. When the sunlight falls on the organic nutrients present in the waste, there will be growth of bacteria, that will digest the harmful waste matter.
Polluted water can be cleaned in sewage treatment plants. The same water can be reused in industries and factories. It can also be used for irrigational purpose. Such treated water is rich in phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen and thus, can make good fertilizer. Moreover, strict laws should be enacted to make it compulsory for the industries to treat the wastewater before being discharged into rivers or seas.
If we do not take the present situation of water polluting seriously, then it would lead us to great health dangers in future. Consciousness among people must be created and examples must be set for the best methods to control this problem. People should understand that destroying the environment through water pollution ultimately reduces the quality of their own lives.