Q:

What is water pollution?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

Know More

Full Answer

Water pollution is a serious ecological threat. Drinking contaminated water is hazardous to human and animal health. When toxic substances dissolve in bodies of water, such as oceans, rivers and lakes, the water becomes polluted. Pollutants tend to lie suspended in the water or deposited on the bed. They degrade the quality of water over time. This results in disastrous effects to aquatic ecosystems. Pollutants even contaminate the groundwater, which poses a serious threat to households that use the contaminated water.

Pollutants are classified into different types, including organic, inorganic and radioactive. Human activities are the main causes of pollution. The major sources of water pollution are industrial waste discharge and city sewage. These are disease-causing agents that carry bacteria, viruses and parasitic worms. Some pollutants are oxygen-demanding wastes that deplete oxygen and cause organisms in the water to die. There are also contaminants that mix with the water supply from soils and groundwater systems that contain agricultural residues and industrial wastes that are disposed of improperly. Contaminants from the atmosphere also enter groundwater systems through rainfall.

Learn more about Pollution

Related Questions

  • 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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does pollution affect humans?

    A:

    Bethany Wieman of SF Gate Home Guides notes that pollution affects humans and other living things in a number of ways, including an increased risk of asthma. This is due to the high level of carcinogens in the particles and gases that make up air pollution.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does air pollution affect humans?

    A:

    Air pollution can cause a variety of illnesses in humans, including asthma, lung cancer, heart disease and even reproductive and developmental disorders. It can also compromise the immune system by overworking the respiratory system and the body's natural defenses. Air pollution also contributes to global warming, increasing worldwide temperatures, raising sea levels and damaging agricultural yields.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does water pollution affect people?

    A:

    The most common effect of water pollution on human beings is disease. Drinking water contaminated by disease-carrying micro-organisms, also known as pathogens, cause various waterborne diseases, such as typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis and cholera.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore