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The Sources, Environmental Impact, and Control of Water Pollution

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Water pollution is one of the most serious environmental challenges. It occurs when water is contaminated by such substances as human and animal wastes, toxic chemicals, metals and oils. Pollution can affect rain, rivers, lakes, oceans and the water beneath the earth, called ground water.

Polluted water may look clean or dirty, but it all contains bacteria, viruses, chemicals or other chemicals than can cause illness or even death. Impurities must be removed before such water can be used safely for drinking, cooking or washing. Some industries must clean the water before it can be used in their manufacturing processes.

Water pollution has become a serious problem in most countries. As a
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Some industries pollute water in yet another way. they use large quantities of water to cool certain equipment. Heat from the equipment makes the water hot. The industries then discharge the hot water into rivers and lakes, heating those bodies of water. Such heating that harms plants or animals is known as thermal pollution.

· Sewage consists of human wastes, garbage and water that has been used for washing or bathing. Most of the sewage goes through treatment plants that remove solids and such dissolved substances as the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous.

· Agricultural chemicals and wastes. Water from rain or melted snow flows from farmland into streams, carrying chemical fertilisers and pesticides that farmers have used on the land. Animal wastes also can cause water pollution, particularly from feed lots with many animals. Cattle, sheep and poultry raised on feed lots do not distribute their wastes over widespread pastureland. Instead, much of their wastes runs off into nearby streams. Water used for irrigation also may be polluted by salt, agricultural pesticides and toxic chemicals on the soil surface before it flows back into the ground.

Effects of water pollution

· Health. Water polluted with human and animal wastes can spread typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery and other diseases. Though
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