Q:

How is water polluted?

A:

Water pollution can occur directly, when contaminated runoff enters lakes and streams, and through atmospheric pollution that results in acid rain. Water that has been polluted may be unsafe for human use or consumption and may damage entire ecosystems.

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Agricultural and industrial operations often produce hazardous chemicals that may enter into the water cycle through runoff. Fertilizers, pesticides and even antibiotics used on livestock all have the potential to pollute groundwater, lakes and streams and even ocean water in coastal areas. Other industrial sources of water pollution include oil spills and other accidents resulting in chemicals being directly introduced into a body of water.

Water pollution may affect bacteria levels, resulting in an environment that is unable to sustain life. Fertilizers used in agriculture have been responsible for the creation of hundreds of aquatic dead zones in coastal areas. Plastics and other non-biodegradable materials are also introduced to rivers, streams and oceans through non-point pollution. Phenomena such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are also a result of water pollution. The garbage patch, sometimes called the Pacific Trash Vortex, is the result of litter, debris and other materials that have been introduced to the ocean, where they have formed a vast collection of debris.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does acid rain occur?

    A:

    In the United States, acid rain is most prevalent in the Northeast. Southeast Canada and much of Europe, including Norway and Sweden, experience acid rain. Acid rain is a major problem in developing countries.

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  • Q:

    Why is water pollution bad?

    A:

    Water pollution is bad as it poses a risk to public health and damages ecosystems. As a result, wildlife populations die out and people are at higher risk of diseases. It arises because of agricultural and human activities.

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  • Q:

    What is water pollution?

    A:

    Water pollution occurs when water is contaminated with chemicals and foreign substances that are harmful to humans, plants and animals. Water pollutants include chemical contamination from waste sites, chemical wastes from industrial discharges, heavy metals such as mercury and lead, sewage waste, food processing waste, fertilizers and pesticides.

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  • Q:

    How do you prevent water pollution?

    A:

    There are several ways to prevent water pollution, including not over-watering lawns, using natural household products and correctly disposing of hazardous materials. Water pollution is also prevented by properly recycling trash.

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