Causes of Water Pollution and Cures to Stop It Now

10059 Words Aug 19th, 2011 41 Pages
Causes of Water Pollution and Cures to Stop it Now

Nature plays a role when it comes to toxins like mercury and other heavy metals, but humans are among the major causes of water pollution. We have always treated the planet with a certain level of disregard, as if we simply thought that nothing we could do would be of any consequence. Now though, the way we have treated our environment is coming back to haunt us.
Since the beginning of the industrial revolution we have unleashed 80,000 chemical agents into the environment, and now traces of these chemical agents reside in our drinking water reservoirs. You may think that such miniscule amounts of these toxins cannot do you any real harm, but the truth is that even chemical traces can
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Pollution is one of the signs that humans have exceeded those limits.
How serious is the problem? According to the environmental campaign organization WWF: "Pollution from toxic chemicals threatens life on this planet. Every ocean and every continent, from the tropics to the once-pristine polar regions, is contaminated."
Photo: Detergent pollution entering a river. Photo courtesy of US Fish & Wildlife Service Photo Library.
What is water pollution?
Water pollution can be defined in many ways. Usually, it means one or more substances have built up in water to such an extent that they cause problems for animals or people. Oceans, lakes, rivers, and other inland waters can naturally clean up a certain amount of pollution by dispersing it harmlessly. If you poured a cup of black ink into a river, the ink would quickly disappear into the river's much larger volume of clean water. The ink would still be there in the river, but in such a low concentration that you would not be able to see it. At such low levels, the chemicals in the ink probably would not present any real problem. However, if you poured gallons of ink into a river every few seconds through a pipe, the river would quickly turn black. The chemicals in the ink could very quickly have an effect on the quality of the water. This, in turn, could affect the health of all the plants, animals, and humans whose lives depend on the river.

Thus, water pollution is all about quantities: how much of a
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