46 Lesser-Known Water Pollution Facts: A Major Environmental Issue | Kidadl


46 Lesser-Known Water Pollution Facts: A Major Environmental Issue

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Water pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems that we face today around the world.

It degrades our water resources and threatens aquatic life, including fish, birds, and mammals like whales and dolphins. People are affected by water pollution, too, since they may come into contact with contaminated drinking water or recreational waters that can make them sick.

Water pollution can also have an impact on our economy since industries are affected by water quality, which can lead to job losses, lower rates of economic growth, and an increase in the price of goods. The Clean Water Act was put into place because people were beginning to realize just how serious this problem was becoming. Many different types of pollutants have been linked to water contamination today, including organic materials that come from household septic systems, lawns, or other sources. Water contaminated with chemicals or other pollutants may be unsuitable for drinking or recreational purposes, depending on the type of material that is present in the waterway.

Causes Of Water Pollution

Water pollution comes from many sources, such as agriculture, industry, and household chemicals which adversely affect the water bodies.

Agricultural runoff contains chemicals from fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or other types of pollutants straight from farmland or animal feedlots.

Agricultural pollution is unexpectedly leading to ocean pollution as the usage of chemicals is increasing.

These chemicals get carried by rainfall runoff into our rivers and lakes, which causes toxic algal blooms, depleting the oxygen in the water, which can result in marine life die-offs.

Pharmaceuticals such as birth control and pain relievers that are flushed into the sewage system or water supply pose a risk for disease outbreaks, drug-resistant microbes, endocrine disruption, and a variety of other problems.

Many wastewater treatment plants are not prepared to handle these kinds of drugs, so they are released into waterways where people swim and play.

Microbes that metabolize these chemicals release even more harmful byproducts back into the bodies of water.

Oil spills are bad enough on their own, but when they contaminate freshwater sources used for fishing or utilizing aquatic life, they become exponentially worse.

Such toxic substances can be catastrophic to ecosystems downstream from the spill and very difficult to clean up.

Solvents especially those used for dry cleaning and degreasing end up dumped into waterways, which causes harmful toxic effects on fish and other aquatic life as well as people's health issues (if they drink the water or absorb it through their skin).

Marine pollution is leading to unsafe water, making many of the species or water bodies extinct.

Lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic are such metals that find their way into our bodies through water and if we eat fish from polluted waterways.

Livestock manure is another organic pollutant that pollutes waterways.

It can contain several heavy metals depending on what was used to feed the livestock.

It can also run off into nearby water sources from pastures or farms where animals are raised, contaminating the soil/water with nitrogen and phosphorous that contribute to algal blooms as well as eutrophication.

The ingestion of these toxins causes brain damage, damaged nervous systems, liver damage, kidney damage, and many more.

Children are especially at risk from these types of pollutants.

Garbage, construction debris, and other items find their way into our waterways from landfills, which block waterways, entrap animals, and contribute to flooding.

They can also contain toxic components such as flame retardants if they come from consumer items like furniture or hazardous chemicals from household cleaners, pesticides, or herbicides, so don't dispose of those types of things in your regular garbage!

Effects Of Water Pollution On The Environment

Water pollution is one of the major factors of environmental issues we face both globally and locally.

Water is needed to survive, but at the same time, clean water is also needed to survive!

Water pollutants can lead to toxic chemicals making their way into drinking water and irrigation of crops that humans and animals use for food.

Biodiversity loss is caused because the aquatic habitats are damaged or destroyed by contamination from solid waste, which disrupts wildlife populations.

Air pollutants get mixed with rainwater, forming acid rain that falls onto land, causing soil damage that affects plants negatively.

Habitat loss due to forest clearing for oil drilling operations in some areas has been associated with reservoir sedimentation clogging waterways and destroying fish beds or habitats upstream or downstream from a dam.

Wastewater treatment plants use chemicals like chlorine, which cause environmental damage to waterways by killing fish and other organisms destroying habitats and food sources for aquatic life.

Pesticide runoff from farms pollutes waterways and affects groundwater quality if it seeps into wells.

This poses a health risk to humans who drink contaminated water or irrigation water that is used on crops that people eat.

There are many examples of harmful effects that can negatively impact our environment because of poor waste management practices.

The loss of aquatic biodiversity is evident through industrial waste.

Prevention Of Water Pollution

On a global scale, the message of reduce, reuse, and recycle has become critical. Reducing the amount of waste we produce is not only good for our environment but also helps us conserve resources like water that are becoming increasingly scarce or contaminated water consumption is increasing.

Using biodegradable cleaning products at home will reduce water pollution by reducing toxic chemicals that end up in the waterways because they do not break down in nature like conventional cleaners that contain harmful chemicals that are bad for our environment.

Using a compost bin in your backyard or kitchen is another good way to reduce solid human waste from going to urban sewage because you are turning your kitchen scraps into something that nourishes plants.

Water conservation is another way to reduce water pollution by saving water every day instead of wasting it on non-essential activities like watering the lawn in the summer when it's raining, running the dishwasher or washing machine when it's not full.

Using a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway so you only need running water when necessary will greatly reduce water consumption.

Using fewer chemicals in our homes or buying them in concentrated forms is another example of how we can reduce pollution because it means less packaging waste will end up in water resources if they are more concentrated than what you get with conventional products.

Reducing energy waste is another way to reduce water pollution because it will lead to fewer greenhouse gases that cause global warming and climate change.

Using compact fluorescent lightbulbs instead of incandescent bulbs or LED lamps that use even less energy than CFLs is another way to help reduce water pollution by conserving electricity every day.

Since we cannot survive without drinking water, it becomes very important to do everything we can to protect our water resources from becoming polluted with chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, and other harmful substances.

Using only the amount of fertilizer and pesticides needed to grow healthy plants instead of dumping more than necessary on them so they absorb all the excess chemicals that harm aquatic life in our waterways is a good example of something we can do every day to save water.

Planting native species in your yard or garden will help save water because they require less maintenance than exotics and do not need to be watered as much.

The Clean Water Act (CWA)

There are several different reasons why water pollution is a major environmental issue, including the damage it can cause to aquatic life, drinking water supplies, and beaches that people visit every year.

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 with amendments in 1977 and 1987 after years of lobbying by environmentalists to reduce polluted runoff from agricultural lands, communities, businesses, and construction sites.

This legislation requires governments at all levels to set limits on pollutant discharges into US waters by industrial waste and other groups while requiring them to monitor the quality of surface waters while enforcing requirements that prevent or control some sources of water pollution.

The Clean Water Act has also led to a significant expansion of national water body protection programs since it was signed into law back in 1972.

This legislation has helped to increase protections for many different types of aquatic life, like endangered species, which are often threatened by unsafe water or contaminated water pollutants that enter their habitat through rivers, streams, and oceans.

The Clean Water Act also authorized the construction of new sewage treatment plants to replace older facilities that lacked modern technologies for treating wastewater before it is discharged into waterways.

The other name by which the program is known is the 'Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972'.

The 92nd United States Congress is known to have established the law, and it has been in effect since October 18, 1972.

It is known to have been in effect since 1948 but was written again in 1972.

The water contamination under the ground is not dealt with by the clean water act, while it is the responsibility of the Safe Drinking Water Act and others.


What percentage of water is polluted?

Around 80% of the water in the world is polluted.

How does water pollution affect us?

Water pollution affects the natural resources of aquatic life and even many harmful water-borne diseases.

What prevents water pollution?

By disposing of the garbage in a garbage box, you avoid the disposal of oil and other harmful chemicals into different waterways. Reduced use of plastic and metal objects can also help to reduce water pollution.

Which substances are easily removed from polluted water?

The solid waste from the polluted water can be easily removed. Rainwater is known to be easily able to cleanse itself, and most pollutants that come from surface runoff can be removed when the rainwater penetrates the ground. Metals, plastics, and a variety of other materials can be extracted from polluted water.

Who is most affected by water pollution?

Marine life and the water bodies are mostly affected by water pollution. Fish, small invertebrates, worms, and other water species are adversely affected.

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?