Water Pollution Essay in 500 Words
Water is certainly one of the most important resources on our planet. It is essential for the survival of all living organisms. Water takes over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. Almost seventy-six per cent of our human body is made up of water. Consumption of water is of prime importance.
Besides drinking, water has its uses in households, farms, industries, pools, theme parks and whatnot. It is a priceless commodity, which, with time, has been contaminated and depleted to a critical level.
With the increase in population, the natural resources of water have been exploited. To flourish on this planet, reserving pure and non-contaminated water is crucial. The addition of harmful foreign substances into water bodies is known as water pollution.
These water bodies can be in the form of aquifers, rivers, lakes, ponds, seas, groundwater, streams, waterfalls, and oceans. These toxic substances are called pollutants or contaminants. Polluted water is not suitable for consumption and can cause numerous diseases.
It is offensive to smell and distasteful in appearance. Human activities are the prime reason for the adulteration of water bodies. The water that we drink daily appears to be clean. But it is filled with impurities. Clean water devoid of any toxicity is necessary for existing. Water pollution is a serious problem that needs to be evaluated before it’s too late.
Types of Water Pollution
Water pollution can be of three kinds – groundwater pollution’s, surface water pollution, and marine pollution. The contamination of groundwater is known as groundwater pollution. Industrial effluents, dirty water from drains and sewage, which flow on the land surface, seep down the soil and mix with the groundwater.
The nutrients present in the soil, as well as the groundwater, get altered and polluted. Moreover, fertilizers and pesticides add to the problem. Surface water pollution includes contamination of open water bodies (like rivers, lakes, and oceans) present on the surface of the earth.
Lack of proper sanitation and uncontrollable discharge are the major contributors. Marine pollution involves large water bodies. Wastewater discharges in the river make their way to the seas and oceans, thus causing pollution.
Aquatic species become exposed to hazardous chemicals. Food chains get disrupted. Oxygen content in the water bodies is reduced. Marine life is adversely affected as a result. These polluted water bodies become the hub for microbes and spread epidemics like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, and diarrhoea.
Causes of Water Pollution
Water tends to dissolve almost everything. It is known as the Universal solvent. This feature enables it to dissolve toxic substances. These toxicities arise from factories, refineries, waste disposal sites, acid rains, detergents, domestic waste, etc. Some of the major causes of water pollution are:
Sewage – Every day, tons of waste matter generated from farmlands, commercial sites and households are dumped into the lakes and rivers. These wastes which remain untreated contain harmful chemicals that can be poisonous to plants, animals, and humans. Recent surveys show that sewage systems are underdeveloped in most of the rural areas. And only fifty-six per cent of sewage systems present in the urban cities are developed. Liquid waste disposal has always been an issue. This largely affects the biotic life in the water bodies.
Industrial Effluents – Industrial waste largely contributes to the adulteration of water bodies. Direct disposal of these wastes has disastrous effects on the ecosystem. Chemical effluents from tanning industries contain poisonous compounds, volatile matter, and heavy metals. This water then mixes with the river and contaminates the underground water table. If we drink this water, it can cause some irreversible ailments.
Eutrophication – It is the process that occurs when large amounts of nutrients in the water bodies result in the formation and growth of algae on the surface of the water. Bacteria feed on these algae. Hence, aquatic organisms like fishes and plants get depleted of oxygen. Their habitat is destroyed, and the quality of water is critically reduced.
Oil Spills – Leakages from ships and tankers result in oil spills. This is one of the most dangerous modes of water pollution. When the oil gets spilt, it forms a layer over the water surface. This layer prevents the penetration of oxygen, which is essential for the survival of marine plants and animals.
Affected River Banks – Lack of sanitation measures in the villages has resulted in defecation in open areas (especially near river banks). Washing clothes and cattle in the lakes is a common practice. Solid waste accumulation is not a rare sight. Litters composed of plastics, glasses; Styrofoam, etc. do not decompose well and can stay in the water for years. This worsens during public gatherings for festivals and celebrations. All these pollute the river banks and need to be tamed.
Indirect Sources – These are the pollutants that indirectly lead to water pollution. They can be chemical dumps, septic tanks, pesticides, hazardous wastes, and radioactive substances, etc. Radioactive wastes generated from atomic power plants and other medical procedures are dangerous. They leach through the soil and reach the water bodies, thus polluting them.
Prevention of Water Pollution
Besides predominantly affecting our health, water pollution can have disastrous effects on our ecosystem. Toxicants pass through the affected aquatic species to us humans. The food chain is badly influenced by it. Prevention of water pollution is extremely necessary.
Conservation of water must be the first step. Preventive measures include sewage water treatment, using environment-friendly products, reduction in plastic consumption, proper disposal of chemical liquids, solid waste management, and less use of pesticides.
Apart from that, drains must be cleaned more often. The implementation of proper sanitary measures by the government in the villages is a great step. Mass awareness through media and entertainment can help sensitize people about the issue. Educating people, especially in rural areas, can ensure a positive outcome.
Enforcement of appropriate laws for Industries and other production sectors can prove beneficial. Participation in the individual level is of paramount importance. Water pollution is a real threat to our living conditions. It must be curbed with the help of proper planning and management. Natural reserves of water must be safeguarded, and a balance must be maintained in our diversified environment.