The most common types of water pollution

Oil spill: one of the most visible signs of water pollution | Photo: Shutterstock

Water pollution is a consequence of human action. Polluted water is not only unsafe to drink but also unsafe to surf, swim and fish in. Discover the most common types of water pollution that affect our daily lives.

Polluted water is "dead water." It has no life in it, and it can kill everything in it - plants, microorganisms, animals, humans, and even bacteria. High concentrations of pollutants have tragic effects on all living things.

The impact of contaminated waters in humans is huge. Water pollution is responsible for a wide range of diseases, including hepatitis, cholera, skin rashes, stomach complications, respiratory problems, liver illness, neurological issues, reproductive disorders, and even cancer.

The human body is made up of 70 percent water and, therefore, we are basically water. As a result, humans are extremely sensitive to subtle changes in H20. Even the ideal pH level of drinking water should be between 6-8.5.

Civilization and progress contaminated our water bodies. Today, our oceans, rivers, lakes, groundwater and aquifers are constantly threatened by chemicals and harmful, man-made substances.

There are various types of water pollution. The most dangerous are:

Nutrients Pollution: when too many nutrients (for example, fertilizers), mainly phosphorus and nitrogen, are added to the water, causing excessive growth of algae. When the algae die, the levels of oxygen decrease, and aquatic animals die.

Surface Water Pollution: when harmful substances invade water bodies such as oceans, rivers, seas, and lakes.

Oxygen Depletion: when too much biodegradable materials promote microorganism growth, and they use almost all oxygen in the water. All aerobic microorganisms die because of the lack of oxygen, and anaerobic organisms start producing harmful toxins such as sulfides and ammonia.

Sewage pollution: the impact of domestic waste on the environment is brutal  | Photo: Shutterstock

Groundwater Pollution: when humans use chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants on soils, they are washed deep into the ground by rainwater. With time, groundwater becomes completely contaminated.

Microbiological Water Pollution: when natural bacteria and viruses affect people who drink untreated water.

Chemical Water Pollution: when the chemicals used by farmers and industrials to control pests, weeds, and insects enter water bodies.

Suspended Matter Pollution: when some pollutants do not dissolve in water, they remain in suspension in water. Sometimes, they end up deposited on ocean floors.

Oil Spillage: when major offshore oil and gas drilling-related accidents result in the release of crude oil, and refined petroleum in large marine areas. Oils spills have a brutal impact on fauna, flora, and human beings.

Sewage Pollution: when untreated wastewater (soaps, detergents, toilet paper, cooking oil, human waste) from urban regions is discharged into a body of water such as a river, lake, stream, ocean or bay.

Ocean Dumping: when all types of radioactive, medical, industrial, toxic, domestic, and food wastes are dumped in the major bodies of water.

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