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Fresh Water Pollution - Essay Example

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Summary
This is largely because the fear of fresh water pollution leads many to take bottled water to alleviate any health problem, such as waterborne diseases. Water pollution refers to the…
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Fresh Water Pollution
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Fresh Water Pollution College: April 23, Fresh Water Pollution Fresh water pollution is estimated to costing the US government over $4.3 billion annually. This is largely because the fear of fresh water pollution leads many to take bottled water to alleviate any health problem, such as waterborne diseases. Water pollution refers to the contamination of inland water sources and not those that are saline with substances like fecal wastes, chemicals, heated discharges that make it unfit for its natural or intended use.
Types of Pollution
There are several types of fresh water pollution that include surface water pollution, chemical pollution, nutrient pollution, oxygen depleting, suspended matter pollution, ground water pollution and microbiological pollution. Nutrient pollution is caused by excess seepage of nutrients into the water; microorganisms that live in the water cause microbiological pollution. Suspended matter is caused by pollutants whose molecules are too big to mix thus form a silt at the bottom or remain floating at the top. A number of human activities such as industries that releases their effluent to fresh water bodies bring about surface water pollution. Oxygen depletion is the result of the release of too much biodegradable waste into the water. Thus, the oxygen in the water is used up by the increased amount of organisms that break down matter. Chemical pollution refers to contamination of water by industrial and agricultural waste such as metals, detergents and pesticides. In addition, it may be caused by oil spillage. Finally, ground water pollution is caused by seepage of chemicals through the soil and into underground water sources such as wells and boreholes.
Causes
This pollution is caused by human activities although some are natural as found in Bangladesh laced with arsenic. Excess fertilizer, animal manure and waste effluent, contain nutrients that stimulate excess plant and algae growth in the fresh water bodies; they cause the decomposing plants and animals to use the oxygen to depletion causing the death of the organisms and animals, as well as the plants. Agricultural and chemical waste like DDT that is persistent insecticides and pesticides accumulate in the fresh water harming fish and birds. In addition, oil from oil spills and coagulated chemicals from industries cause the birds in the water bodies to have their wings and feathers clogged up thus are unable to fly.
This picture displays how Fresh Water can be polluted (Source Adapted from Budget water.)
Human and fecal waste may contain disease carrying organisms and pathogens, which causes cholera and typhoid among humans which may cause death and disease outbreaks. Chemical pollutants that find their way onto fresh water may cause nervous and brain damage if ingested.
Image shows the phosphates pollution quota (Source Adapted from Advameg, Inc.)
Prevention
Removing pollutants from water is an expensive and at times impossible process. Therefore, prevention is the better option in this matter. This can be done by protecting watersheds (area that drains into surface or groundwater). It can also be done by generating policies that prevent/ban disposal of waste into water bodies, as well as banning the use of chlorine-based pesticides like DDT.
Conclusion
In conclusion, fresh water pollution is extremely rampant, and measure to curb it should be put in place; otherwise, the government will continue using heft money due to its effects. Moreover, fresh water pollution poses a substantial health problem to the populace if not prevented.
References
Advameg. Inc. n.d. Water pollution: fresh water, Advameg, Inc. [Online] Available at Accessed on 22 April 2012.
Budget water. n.d Water Treatment Information. [Online] Available at < http://www.budgetwater.info/waterpollutionpic.htm > Accessed on 22 April 2012. Read More
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