Water is a special substance because through its natural form it can replenish and purify itself by allowing impurities to clear up through the process known as sedimentation. It can also dilute the impurities to a position where they contain harmless elements. Conversely, this natural process takes a lot of time, and therefore becomes impossible when there are excessive impurities that have contaminated the water.
Human beings contribute greatly towards polluting the water that they use. Prolonged pollution of water has even caused some plants to grow in the water, which pose danger to the living entities that have their inhabitants in the water. This paper shall succinctly explore on causes of water pollution and the present environmental solution towards the ongoing pollution of water.
The term pollution can be defined in various ways. Water pollution happens when energy and varying materials are set free, thus debasing the value of water for users. In another perspective, water pollution comprises of all the waste products that the water cannot break down in its natural form.
In simpler terms, any substance that is added to water and cannot be broken is referred as Pollution. In certain instances, the root cause of pollution may be through nature itself, for instance, when water runs all the way through soils containing acidic components. Human beings are however, the greater causes of water pollution (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).
Source of Pollution
Water pollution has two major sources: the point and the non-point sources. The point sources include those sources that visibly discharge pollutants into the sources of water. For example, sewerage treatment and discharge from factories among others. Similarly, the non-point source becomes very difficult to discover because their sources cannot be traced with ease. Examples of non-point sources include fertilizers, animal and chemical wastes, wastes from mining factories among others (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).
Categories of Water Pollution
The first category of pollution is based mainly on human and the animal waste. Such kind of wastes is called the environmental waste. They are capable of producing a source of energy, which enhances growth of bacteria. The source of energy produced (organic compound) is transformed into carbon dioxide and water, which when in large components can lead to atmospheric pollution and acidic rain. The type of pollution that is formed here is widespread and very difficult to control than any other type of pollution.
The second category is the type of pollution that results from sewerage treatment. Such water contains components of phosphates and nitrates and these are directly discharged into water. Such pollution is very hazardous to both the human and aquatic life.
Heat is the third category of water pollution. When the temperature of water increases, the amount of the oxygen gas that is dissolved in water tends to lower. In some instances, such kind of pollution may be said to be natural. Mostly, the industrial equipments and other plants may be cleaned and cooled respectively by use hot springs and shallow ponds, then the used water is discharged into water body without being treated. Consequently, these tend to decrease the aquatic life since the oxygen component is also affected.
The fourth and most common source of water pollution is sediment pollution. The organic particles and other minerals from the land are washed and blown into water sources. Such source of pollution is very difficult to identify since it emanates from the non-point sources.
The fifth and most widespread source of water pollution is the discharge of chemicals into water, which mainly comes from the industrial wastes. Controlling this source of water pollution has proven difficult since industries are still discharging waste products into water sources; farmers are still using agro-chemicals.
The last category is water pollution through radioactive pollutants. These comprise of discharges from production industries, from hospitals and Uranium Mines. Radioactive pollutants are considered hazardous to both human and aquatic life since they take a long period before they become inactive and harmless (Environment Canada).
Environmental Solutions to Water pollution
Water pollution is an issue that has been present in our midst for ages. It has been there since time immemorial, despite the fact that its relentless has lately struck environmentalists all over the world. Implementation of strict laws concerning the way forward to prevent water pollution have been amended year in year out, but they have always lacked a follow up since they have always fallen on deaf ears.
In fact, the problem has become adverse and this has compelled the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to declare most of the lake, some streams, and even rivers as being dangerous for both swimming and fishing.
Therefore, besides implementing ways on how this issue can be prevented, there is also a need to put to a stop this problem. In that connection, the following are some of the present water pollution solutions that we can implement and make this world a better place to be (Environment Canada).
Charity Begins at Home
Before we start pointing fingers to those we think have greatly contributed towards polluting water, it is advisable to have a look on the inside. Each one of us has contributed in one way or another in polluting the environment. Having done this, therefore, puts us into a better position of implementing some changes within ourselves, which may turn into a revolution: ensuring that the discharge of the wastes from whichever sources is directed towards the right places and they are treated.
Setting up programs to ensure that the septic tanks are periodically cleaned might also be a step ahead that one ought to implement within his or her locality and in this case everyone within the neighborhood should be involved. Above all, kids should also be educated on the importance of saving water, as this is one of the major solutions in saving water.
This will help in maintaining the old septic systems. In addition, refraining from using plastic equipments saves life when it comes to water pollution. Plastics are said to be non-biodegradable and therefore when dumped they tend to release chemicals and products that becomes hazardous to life.
Amending On Present Laws
Amending and making Water protection laws more stringent is the only possible way in fighting with those that cause water pollution. Any person found breaking the laid down rules and regulations concerning preservation of water should be highly penalized. Likewise, it may prove to be the most difficult solution to implement since most of those people involved in polluting the environment are those in power. This will only become efficient and effective to all, if there is a genuine concern for human and aquatic life (Environment Canada)
There is a linking point between the causes of environmental pollution. For instance, a forest plays the major part as main source of rainwater and infuses it up. Conversely, due to the extensive expansion of emerging companies and residential premises, that occurs at the costs of forests, and thus resulting into widespread deforestation, the role of the forests comes into a standstill. The resultant is that rainwater flows into streams carrying sediments and other particles into water bodies. The only way to stop this is practicing a forestation (Terra Daily).
Stopping Oil Spills
For ages, the oil discharged from the industries has affected the marine life. The only possible and best way to evade from this problem is to increase the rate at which the vessels that carry this oil moves. Government interventions through inspecting the way ships moves, and also provide civic education about the repercussions of such problems (Environment Canada).
Water is a natural substance that is essential for living things, and requires protection from any pollution. The points discussed in this paper are just few of the possible solutions for water pollution. If we fail to implement water pollution solutions and analyze this major environmental issue, human life and the natural environment may experience difficulties coexisting in the world.
Prevention of water pollution is one of the major steps in having a sustainable “green” environment. Governments need to set up laws that protect the environment from pollutions. Having international laws that are driven to educate and guide people on environmental protection will benefit all things that depend on water. It is therefore important to focus on preserving water sources and ensure that natural resources are used wisely, be it for production or for business services.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Annual Checkup. Sept. 2004. Web. <http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/features/lakewinnipeg/checkup.html>
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Down on the Farm: Water Laws. Sept. 2004. Web. <http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/features/lakewinnipeg/agriculture.html>
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. On the Nutrient Trail. Sept. 2004. Web. <http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/features/lakewinnipeg/wastewater.html>
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Up the Creek. Sept. 2004. Web. <http://www.cbc.ca/manitoba/features/lakewinnipeg/creek.html>
City of Saskatoon. Wastewater Treatment Process. 2007. Web. <http://www.saskatoon.ca/org/water_treatment/wastewater_treatment/ww_process.asp>
Environment Canada. Clean Water – Life depends on. Jul. 2004.Web. <http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/info/pubs/FS/e_FSA3.htm>
Environment Canada. Quick Facts. 2006. Web. <http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/e_quickfacts.htm>
Environment Canada. The State of Canada’s Environment – 1996. 1996. Web. <http://www.ec.gc.ca/soer-ree/english/SOER/1996report/Doc/1-6-4-4-3-2-1.cfm>
Environment Canada. Water Pollution. 2004. Web. <http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/manage/poll/e_poll.htm>
Terra Daily. Canada Will Not Buy Pollution Rights. Oct. 2006. Web. <www.terradaily.com/reports/Canada_Will_Not_Buy_Pollution_Rights_999.html>