When our grandparents were little, the would have thought nothing of stopping at a stream to take a drink while playing outside. Today, however, we would never drink water from nature without boiling and purifying it first. This is because humans have been polluting Earth's surface water for hundreds of years now, and in most places it is no longer safe to drink. This article will teach you some common causes of water pollution so you can prevent them.
One of the most common pollutants that makes it into the Earth's water supply is human waste. In many developing countries people with no access to toilets simply relieve themselves into rivers and streams, but in developed countries the situation isn't always better. Often all that our toilets and plumbing and sewage pumps do is concentrate the sewage into a specific dump site. Sewage treatment plants help combat the harmful effects of human waste on water. One only has to speak with Transway Systems Inc. to learn the harmful effects of hazardous wastes.
When a steel mill uses water to cool its steel or a tire factory hardens its rubber using a liquid chemical, most of these liquids don't get collected and fed through valves and back into storage so they can be re-used. Most of the time they're just dumped into whatever body of water is convenient. Waste from factories has ruined most of China's rivers. To help them recover, we need to buy from companies whose factories practice recycling and responsible disposal.
The storm drains set into our streets whisk away the rain water and add it to our lakes and rivers. That can't be polluting them, since it's only water, right? Wrong. Runoff contains a lot of harmful stuff, including diluted pesticides from farmer's fields, traces of the fertilizers people use on the flower beds outside their home, as well as soap, oil, solvents, heavy metals from cars and organic debris from food waste and landscaping. To help keep runoff clean, don't use chemicals around your home.
Many people think that if they dump the waste from their home, such as old car hulks, TVs, furniture, or tin cans into a lake or ocean, it will just sit there taking up space. But what it's actually doing is breaking down and releasing harmful chemicals and by-products into the water. Never dump garbage in a lake, river, or the ocean. Practice responsible disposal according to your municipal regulations.