Q:

What causes river pollution?

A:

Quick Answer

River pollution comes from a variety of different sources, including agricultural operations, industrial discharge, wastewater treatment plants and storm water runoff, that carry pollutants into waterways. Sources are classified as point sources if the pollution comes from a single, identifiable source and nonpoint sources if the pollution is the result of runoff over a wide area. Since rivers draw from many sources, they may contain many different pollutants.

  Know More

Full Answer

Point-source pollution is the easiest type of river pollution to correct, as it can be traced to a single source. An industrial operation may accidentally discharge untreated pollutants into a river, or a flood at a wastewater treatment plant may cause sewage to flow into a waterway. These spills can be massive and release large amounts of pollutants over a short period of time, but once the problem is corrected, the river can eventually recover.

Nonpoint-source pollution is much more difficult to deal with. As rain or floodwater flows over land, it picks up any contaminants present. Oil and grease from roadways, excess nitrogen and pesticides from farmland, heavy metals from mining and scrapping operations and loose sediment may find their way into the river, carried through the water cycle by runoff.

Learn more about Pollution

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the main causes of pollution?

    A:

    Some of the main causes of pollution include industrial emissions, poor disposal of wastes, mining, deforestation, use of fossil fuels and agricultural activities. Pollution can affect the air, the land and water bodies throughout the world.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the major causes of thermal pollution?

    A:

    Thermal pollution, which is the act of changing the temperature of a water body by unnatural means, is most often caused by the heat generated from industrial processes. It is also sometimes caused by deforestation or urbanization practices such as removing trees from the shoreline or laying asphalt.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the causes of garbage pollution?

    A:

    The two main causes of garbage pollution are a lack of a proper garbage collection system in the area and the presence of an improper disposal mechanism. In most cities, garbage is collected by a civic agency or contractor and disposed of properly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes radioactive pollution?

    A:

    Some causes of radioactive pollution include nuclear power plants, energy factories, mining, improper waste disposal, nuclear testing, terrorism and other human activities. Radioactive pollution can enter the environment by water, air and soil contamination. Regardless of its origin, radioactive pollution is particularly hazardous to animals and the environment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore