5 Easy Ways to Reduce Water Pollution in Your Home
As a community, we must come together and focus on ways to reduce water pollution. Whether you are at home, a restaurant, or out for an evening stroll, you can reduce water pollution. From simply turning off the faucet when not in use to picking up a piece of trash blowing away in the wind, you can make a difference. As an individual, you can’t fix the worldwide problem of water pollution but there are various simple ways to reduce water pollution on a daily basis. Below we will cover 5 ways to reduce water pollution. Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect one of Earth’s most valuable resources.
What is water pollution?
When harmful substances such as chemicals or microorganisms contaminate a body of water, water pollution occurs. As a result, the water quality is degraded and it becomes toxic to humans and or the environment. Water is easily polluted as it's able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid on Earth. Some of the most common types of water contamination are agricultural, sewage, and wastewater, oil pollution, and radioactive substances. Water pollution can have serious effects on human health and the environment. While some may place the blame for water pollution on oil companies or other companies, we should all be held accountable. There are ways that we can prevent water pollution such as reducing plastic consumption or properly disposing of non-biodegradable items.
How can we reduce water pollution?
Water is a natural resource that we must protect. With pollution affecting our water sources, we need to focus on ways to reduce water pollution. In addition to preventing water pollution, we should also focus on conserving water. Conserving water can help prevent pollution, making it a double-win. Conserving water can also help prevent shortages and reduce the amount of contaminated water that needs treatment. Here are some ways we can reduce water pollution. . .
Use environmentally friendly household products
Be careful about what goes down your sink or toilet
Don’t litter (and pick up others’ litter)
Avoid fertilizing grass before it rains
Don’t blow leaves into the street
Properly maintain your car and avoid oil leaks
Properly recycle motor oil (don’t pour it down the storm drain)
Never clean up a spill by hosing it into a storm drain
What are the main causes of water pollution?
While agricultural and industrial waste are two big contributors to water pollution, there are many other contributors. Water pollution is not limited to coastal environments. Our lakes, rivers, and water tables are widely affected by water pollution. The list of ways pollutants make it into our water supply is far too long. Runoff from agricultural operations is one of the biggest sources of water pollution. Another cause of water pollution is runoff and nonpoint source pollution from rain and melted snow. An example of this could be if your car leaks oil on the driveway and shortly after it rains. The oil stuck on the driveway can be transported to water sources. Other causes of water pollution include leaking sewers, vehicle emissions, radioactive sources, global warming, oil spills and leaks, marine dumping, and more.
What are 5 specific causes of water pollution?
As we mentioned earlier, there are many causes of water pollution. Here are 5 specific causes of water pollution. . .
#1. Industrial waste
Industrial waste is one of the top causes of water pollution. Although industrial sites are regulated, many may not have proper waste management systems. As a result, waste is getting drained into rivers and canals and eventually, the sea. Industrial waste can present a severe hazard for water organisms.
#2. Runoff from agricultural operations
Agricultural operations are major contributors of water pollution. In addition, they may cause water shortages. However, agricultural operations are necessary. Crop production and livestock often produce mass amounts of water and waste that contribute to both issues. Nitrates are a common ingredient in fertilizer that can cause serious harm to babies if present in drinking water. Animal waste comes along with livestock and often gets washed away during rainstorms causing pollution. These are just a few ways that agriculture contributes to water pollution.
#3. Sewage and wastewater
Each household produces sewage and wastewater. Sewer systems can overflow, thus allowing the contents to enter water before treatment. According to the EPA, there are about 40,000 sewer overflows per year. Sewer overflows can cause water pollution and beach closures.
#4. Marine dumping
In some countries, garbage produced by households is dumped right into the sea. Items such as paper or plastic can take 2 weeks to 200 years to decompose. Marine dumping causes water pollution and poses a threat to animals in the sea.
#5. Accidental oil leakage
Oil spills and leaks can cause water pollution. Oil simply does not dissolve in water, thus making these two substances that do not mix well.
What are 5 effects of water pollution?
Water is an extremely valuable resource on the plant. The effects of water pollution can be devastating. Most water pollution is caused by human activities, meaning it can be prevented or reduced. Getting educated on the causes and effects of water pollution is the first step toward protecting our most valuable natural resource, water. Here are 5 effects of water pollution. . .
Water pollution can have serious effects on human health. Humans that drink polluted water may be at risk for developing typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, and various other diseases1. Annually, there are about 120,000 cholera-related deaths (World Health Organisation).
#2. Destruction of ecosystems
Water pollution can destroy ecosystems. It can kill organisms and disrupt the natural food chain. Dolphins, fish, and many other animals often end up washed ashore after being killed in their natural habitat.
#3. Disruption of food chains
Some animals eat other animals to survive. If one animal relies on eating another animal, but that particular animal has been polluted and subsequently dies off, then the food chain has been disrupted. In addition, tiny animals often eat pollutants such as lead and cadmium. Pollutants can disrupt the natural food chain and put ecosystems at risk.
Eutrophication is often caused by runoff from land. As a result, bodies of water have an excessive richness of nutrients which causes the growth of algae. Bacteria feed on algae causing oxygen to be reduced. This can affect all aquatic life living there.
#5. Economic effects
Water pollution is costly for our economy. We can’t ignore polluted waters which leaves us spending big bucks managing and restoring polluted water bodies. Some countries, such as Japan, are running out of room to store contaminated water.
How can water pollution affect humans?
Human health can be affected by water pollution. If you ingest water with toxins you may be at risk for cancer, hormone disruption, kidney problems, and more. In addition, swimming in contaminated water can cause pink eye, respiratory infections, rashes, and more. Short-term and long-term exposure can impact human health. In addition to drinking polluted water, humans can also ingest microplastics.
Microplastics can be consumed by eating contaminated seafood or drinking water. There are different types of water pollution such as contamination by sewage, chemical waste, agriculture, and so on. Water contaminated with chemical waste can cause serious health problems if ingested.
What are examples of water pollution?
There are different types of water pollution such as chemical pollution, groundwater pollution, nutrient pollution, surface water pollution, etc. A proper example of water pollution usually depends on the type of water pollution. To keep this simple, yet informative let’s look at an example of chemical pollution.
Chemical pollution is one of the most common types of water contaminants. The leading cause of chemical pollution is industrial sites and farming activities. Petroleum spills can also cause chemical pollution. Examples of chemical pollution include acid rain, greenhouse gases, and ozone.
Where is water pollution the worst?
Access to clean water is a global concern. If you have access to clean drinking water, consider yourself lucky. Worldwide, Eritrea in East Africa has the least access to clean water near home. As a result, open water sources are often contaminated by animal and human waste. To make matters worse, poor farming practices are fueling the problem even more2. Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cambodia, and Mexico also suffer from some of the worst drinking water3.
What are the 4 major types of water pollutants?
Water pollution can be classified into 3 main categories; point-source, nonpoint-source, and trans-boundary. Furthermore, four of the most common types of pollution are surface water, groundwater, chemical, and nutrients. Let’s break down each type of pollution.
Surface water pollution: Water that is found naturally on Earth’s surface such as lagoons, oceans, and rivers are a part of surface water pollution. This water can be contaminated by polluted water dissolving or mixing. It can also be caused by accidental oil spills.
Groundwater pollution: Humans often cause hazardous chemicals to be left on the Earth’s surface. When the rain comes, these chemicals are often washed right into our natural water sources. Underground water can also be contaminated. The use of pesticides and fertilizers on farms is a common cause of groundwater pollution.
Chemical pollution: Surface and underground bodies of water can be affected by chemical pollution. Again, farming is a major contributor to chemical pollution. In addition, industrial sites are a major contributor.
Nutrients pollution: While nutrients are usually a good thing, too many nutrients is devastating for plant and aquatic life. Nutrient pollution can cause uncontrolled growth of vegetation and algae on the surface of water.
What are 5 ways to reduce water pollution?
Reducing water pollution starts with changing your day-to-day behavior. Now that you are more educated on how serious the effects of water pollution are, hopefully you are more motivated to raise awareness about water pollution and do your part to help reduce contamination of our water sources. Here are 5 simple ways you can reduce water pollution. . .
Use glass over plastic
Pick up trash and put it in the garbage
Avoid buying products with dangerous chemicals
Do not flush anything but toilet paper down the toilet
Don’t put harmful objects in the garbage disposal
Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. While water pollution is a major concern, there are many other global concerns such as air pollution. Our environment provides so much beauty and natural resources that sadly we may be taking advantage of - and not in a good way. However, there are ways we can turn this around and positively utilize Earth’s offerings. In addition to reducing water pollution, we should also focus on using clean renewable energy. You may be thinking - “I am not allowed to install solar panels or generate wind power” or “I can’t afford solar panels.” However, clean renewable energy can be accessed whether you have your own solar or wind power source. Inspire provides homeowners with clean energy for one flat price without interruptions or installations. So, how does it work? Simply link your utility, connect to renewable energy, and measure your impact. Homeowners that use Inspire can benefit from smart tools to manage electricity usage. Discover the beginning of consistent and predictable monthly energy bills at Inspire.