The Water Act Of 1972

2009 Words9 Pages
The freshwater that is available for use is becoming more contaminated with each use. The Clean Water Act of 1972 put in order more regulations in regards to wastewater and the dumping of it into rivers and lakes. Multiple-step filtration systems have been used since then to better remove toxins from wastes before it enters freshwater. In a personal interview with Moe Crabtree, Nature Resource Specialist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, I learned some measures taken to keep water clean. Her common job is to setup timber sales which includes much precaution of rivers and streams. I asked her- “In what ways do you have to avoid water contamination?” she replied, “we have to divert culverts at minimum one hundred feet from…show more content…
While rain does help replenish and dilute polluted fresh water, it also can contaminate it just as fast. Sewage waste and runoff fills the waters with pathogenic microorganisms and chemicals that reduce the dissolved oxygen levels. A loss in oxygen kills off fish and leaves their habitat murky and dark. High levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from runoff cause growth of algae and other harmful aquatic life. In an article on water pollution, it is stated that “many fish species require a minimum of 4–5 mg of dissolved oxygen per liter of water” (Scholz, Nathaniel). Scholz is saying that fish in the areas that become over polluted die off or are forced to leave their natural environment due to a lack of oxygen. The article continues to explain that the fish living in these poor conditions are consumed as food and the levels of toxins can multiply as it goes up the food chain, potentially leading to illnesses for humans. As more water is demanded, more water filtration plants are put into place to get consumable water to all in need. One gallon of contamination can make one thousand gallons of water undrinkable. In 1993, Michigan received heavy amounts of rainfall which affected Lake Michigan and the drinking water. The study of this incident is included in John Gary’s book, Can We Cope?, and is stated that: “... increasing amounts of run off from agricultural areas as well as storm water and sewage catchments were diverted into Lake Michigan.
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