The Importance Of Water Pollution

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Water pollution is a serious environmental issue worldwide. 1 Water is one of the most valuable resources on our planet; having clean water is vitally important for our survival. Here in the United States, the Clean Water Act of 1972 was very successful in reducing point sources of water pollution; however, it has been ineffective in reducing nonpoint sources of water pollution (Manuel, 2014). Nitrogen and phosphorous that originate from agricultural sources, such as manure and inorganic fertilizer, are contributing to nonpoint source pollution of our waterways. Also referred to as nutrient pollution, this issue is created by the runoff of excess nutrients into waterways and the effects of this can reach hundreds or even thousands of miles…show more content…
This leads to a great amount of oxygen in the water being consumed by the algae as it decomposes, potentially leading to hypoxia, or dead zones, which can kill nearly all aquatic organisms (Manuel, 2014). An example of this is in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River, with a dead zone of nearly 5500 square miles (Manuel, 2014). HAB’s can also impair bodies of water that serve as a source of drinking water, such as in Toledo, Ohio, where residents were faced with not having a safe source of water (Manuel, 2014). According to the USDA (2015), this sort of problem is widespread. Nutrient pollution can also be seen due to accidental leakages of manure, with many reported instances locally. In a recent occurrence of this, manure leaked from a broken pipeline into a nearby stream, ending up in a nearby lake, potentially polluting groundwater and lake water, both local sources of drinking water.
There are many threats to human health from HAB’s, including: 2 stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, headache, skin irritation, muscle and joint pain, blisters of the mouth, and liver damage (Manuel, 2014). If the toxins become airborne, respiratory illnesses have also been reported (EPA, 2015). At Grand Lake St. Marys, Ohio, which is a source of drinking water, it was reported that there were 23 cases of human illnesses and dog deaths due to HAB’s in 2011 (EPA, 2015). In Sarasota County, Florida, 218 emergency room visits have been reported

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