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Water Pollution

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Water Pollution


What is water pollution?

Water pollution is a situation of contamination that allows one or more substances to build up in water to such an extent that they cause severe problems for both habitat and habitants. Lakes, rivers, Oceans, and other inland waters can naturally clean up a specific degree of pollution by diluting it harmlessly. Also water pollution is more about quantity. This means more the volume of diluted toxic substance in the water, the more water gets polluted.


Is there a taste, color or odor to contaminated water?

The contaminated water is often tasteless, colorless, and odorless. However the change in taste, color and smell depends upon the source from which the water has been polluted and to which extent.


Types of water pollution

Water pollution or any kind of pollution adds substance to the atmosphere and its surroundings that do not belong there and hence the problem occurs.

When we talk about Earth's water resources, we talk of seas, lakes, oceans, and rivers. These Water resources are known as surface waters.

Not all of Earth's water stands on its surface, however. A huge volume of water is held in underground rock structures called aquifers, which we cannot visualize and seldom imagine about. Water stored underground in aquifers is called groundwater. These Aquifers nurture our rivers and transport great deal of our drinking water. They too can become poisonous, for instance, when weed killers executed in gardens filter into the ground. Groundwater pollution is much less discoverable than surface-water pollution, but is no less of a terrible trouble. It was shown in a report that over half the India’s groundwater wells were polluted with weed killers.

Groundwater and Surface waters are the 2 main types of water resources that pollution affects. There are also 2 different mediums in which pollution can take place. If pollution appears from a single location, like a discharge pipe connected to an industry, it is termed as point-source pollution (PSP). Other examples of point source pollution include an oil leakage from a tanker, a discharge from a factory or a brick field chimney, or anyone pouring oil from their vehicle down a drain. A big deal of water pollution occurs not from just a single source but from several different scattered sources. This is termed as nonpoint-source pollution.

When point-source pollution attacks the atmosphere and environment, the location most affected is generally the area more close to the source. For example, when an oil tanker incident happens, the oil leakage is concentrated in the tanker close-at-hand and, in the right ocean instances; the pollution diffuses the further away from the tanker you go. This has quite less chances to occur with nonpoint source pollution which, by meaning, enters the environment from various places at once.

At times the pollution that makes its way in the environment in one location has an impact 100’s or even 1000’s of miles away. This is called trans-boundary pollution. One example of this type of pollution is the way radioactive waste flows through the huge oceans from nuclear reprocessing plants.


Causes of water pollution

Most water pollution does not originate in the water itself. Take the oceans: approximately 80 % of ocean pollution crosses the threshold of the seas from our land. Any unprincipled human activity can have an impact on the quality of our environmental water. When farmers fertilize the agricultural lands, the chemicals they use are immoderately washed by rain into the surface water or groundwater nearby. Chemicals emitted by a funnel or a chimney for discharging smoke from a factory, locomotive can spread in the atmosphere and then fall back to earth in form of rain, entering lakes, rivers and seas and causing water pollution. That's termed as atmospheric deposition. Water pollution has several causes and this is one of the biggest factors why it is so troublesome to solve.


Sewage

The water contaminated with sewage waste is not only dangerous to health in long run but it also adds a pale yellowish color to it and the water sends a stinky smell while going down.

With population of billions on the planet, dumping off of sewage waste is a severe problem. As per the report produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013, some 780 million people (11 % of the world's population) do not have the access to safe drinking water, while 2.5 billion (40 % of the world's population) do not have access to proper sanitation (hygienic toilets); although there have been commendable progress in gaining access to clean water, comparatively little has been made on improving global sanitation in the last decade.

Sewage dumping affects environments and results in water-related illnesses such as diarrhea that kills 760,000 kids under age of five each year. It is estimated by “WHO” that water-associated diseases could kill as many as 135 million people by year 2020.

In developed countries, most people use flush toilets that take sewage waste immediately and hygienically away from the homes.
Yet the issue of sewage disposal does not come to an end there because when you flush the toilet, the waste got to go somewhere and, even after it goes away the sewage treatment works, there is still waste to dump of.

Sadly, even in some of the richest countries such as Britain, Mexico, the practice of disposing sewage into the sea continues till date. It was also reported in the early 2012 that the tiny island of Guernsey (between France and Britain) has decided to continue disposing 16,000 tons of raw sewage into the sea every day.

Sewage contains different types of chemicals, from the pharmaceutical drugs people take to the plastic, poly, paper, tissues and other garbage they dispose off. The sewage they produce takes the viruses into the environment and people fall sick with diseases like typhoid, cholera and hepatitis from sea and river water.


Industrial waste

Factories, Industries, ships or locomotives produce large amount of waste which contains poisonous pollutants and chemicals and pollutants which can cause air pollution. This severely damages the environment and the masses. This waste contains pollutants such as mercury, nitrates, lead, asbestos, sulphur, and other toxic chemicals. Many industrial corporations have not implemented a proper waste management system and thus discharge the debris in the fresh water which goes into canals, rivers, and later into the sea. The toxic chemicals have the utmost potential to deteriorate the quality of water by changing its natural color and infusing foul smell of mixed toxic substances. It also leads to increase the amount of minerals in the water, called as Eutrophication that further alter the temperature of the water and present serious menace to water organisms.


Septic Tanks

Every household toilet is connected to a septic tank that is generally located outside the house. Each time the excreted substance is flushed down the toilet, it goes into this septic tank, where the solid substance is separated from the liquid substance. Biological processes are used to fragment the solids and the liquid and are generally drained out into a land drainage system. From this stage, it can escape into the water bodies and soil.


Global warming

Due to the greenhouse effect, an increase in earth’s temperature has simultaneously resulted in increase of the water temperature too. The water polluted with global warming is a jinx to human life as well as for marine and aquatic species.


Ocean and marine dumping

We produce so much rubbish everyday in form of rubber, plastic, paper waste, food waste, glass, and metallic and aluminum waste. These waste kinds take more than usual time to decompose. For instance, it is said that paper takes around 2 months, aluminum takes around 200 years and glass takes even more years to decompose. When these wastes end up in the rivers or sea, they pose threat to the quality and standard of sea water as well to sea animals and even result in death of lot of water animals.


Underground storage and tube leakages

Many liquid products such as petroleum products are stored in steel and metal tubes underground. Over time, they corrode and start to leak. If this situation occurs, they infect the soils. The liquid in them finish as in nearby water bodies.


Atmospheric

Each time the harmful nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide pollutes the air, it pose harm to the water in reservoirs, ocean, pond and sea. The harmful gases present in the air mix with water particles in the air and form a poisonous substance. This lethal substance falls as acid rain on the ground and gets washed into water bodies. The result is that water bodies also get infected and this affects water organisms.


Accidental Oil Spills

Oil leakage exhibits a great concern as huge amount of oil enters into the rivers, sea and reservoirs and does not dissolve with water; thereby roll issues for local people as well as local marine wildlife.


Effects of water Pollution

Many people living in rural areas rely on private wells or privately-owned water sources for their drinking water. The tube wells water needs to be inspected regularly (at least quarterly) for any contamination. Or either your water supply is installed with a drinking water disinfection device to make sure that the water supplied from the wells is safe to drink always. It is hardly possible if the owner of privately-owned wells get the water tested regularly.

The most unsafe water source is known to be sea, rivers, streams, cisterns, and poorly constructed wells, or any tube well that is not drilled and does not bear a watertight casing that elongates to a depth of minimum 6 meters beneath the ground level. The safety of well water may also be persuaded by the original water quality in the catchment or watershed. Unsafe water sources can easily become infected and unfit for drinking.

The effects of water pollution can be catastrophic, depending on the types of concentrations, chemicals, pollutants and location of getting polluted.

Many water bodies in proximity of urban areas are hugely polluted. This is an outcome of garbage disposed of by people and harmful chemicals morally or immorally dispersed by factories, ships, manufacturing units, health centers, and market places. This greatly affects humans and other organisms that depend on the water bodies lying in the dumping water zone.


Possible Health Effects of Drinking Contaminated Water

Diseases

Eventually, people are typically affected by the contaminated water and catch serious diseases drinking polluted water. It is clear that contaminated water not only attacks humans but is also a great danger to aquatic and marine species. Humans can catch diseases like hepatitis by eating seafood that has been polluted. In many developing nations, there is ongoing outbreak of cholera and dreadful intestinal diseases as a result of poor drinking water treatment from poisoned waters. The adverse health effects of drinking polluted water can range from physical illness to even death.

Few of the effects of drinking contaminated water can be instant, while some go unnoticed for many years. These may include stomach and gastrointestinal illnesses such as :

  • Diarrhea
  • nausea
  • cramps
  • vomiting

Disruption of food-chains

Pollution affects the natural food chains too. Pollutants like cadmium and lead are eaten by tiny creatures. Further, these little creatures are consumed by shellfish, crabs, fish and huge water species and the food chain continues to be disrupted at all greater levels.


Destruction of ecosystems

Ecosystem (the inter-play amongst living beings and things in a place, relying on each other for survival) can be severely altered or doomed by water pollution. Many places are now being maliciously affected by careless human pollution, and this pollution is striking back to spoil humans in many ways.

Factors responsible for contaminated water impact on health include:

  • Age and general health status of an individual
  • Biological chemistry of a person
  • Kind of contaminant
  • Quantity of contaminant
  • Time period a person has been drinking the contaminated water

Role of RO system in contaminated water treatment

The invention and expansion of membrane water treatment ways (reverse osmosis, electro dialysis and ultra filtration) started in the 1920s, but these did not really become progressive in water treatment processes for 40 years. Rapid technological advancements of these processes took place since 1960, and currently they are worthwhile auxiliary to water and waste treatment technology. The reverse osmosis and other membrane technologies are routinely performed to keep the drinking/cooking water safe and clean for use.

Reverse osmosis (RO) offers quite a substantial unit process for use by the current day point-of- use water treatment professional process. Together with ion exchange and filtration technique, which can be implement in both pretreatment and post-treatment, RO exceptionally enhances its expertise and really rounds out his technological competencies.

The advanced RO activated carbon system is an incredible technique to purify water without destroying much of the essential minerals present originally in the water. The RO activated carbon system works well at a water pressure of 50 psi.

Reverse osmosis and other such membranes embodies the first-class particulate filter known, which is demonstrated by the 100% elimination of turbidity and the virtually 100% elimination of asbestos.

RO filtration is one such membrane that provides an 88% removal of total dissolved sediments and solids, with consistent significant capacity to remove many other anions and cations indexed in the EPA Drinking Water Regulations. The present day filtration RO system has the perfect ability to remove up to 98% of sulfate from the water along with 40% removal for nitrate and 30% removal for silver. Likewise, the potential of reverse osmosis carbon to eliminate dissolved organics is also superior.

Lead Removal in Home Water Purifiers," described at the Annual Conference of the American Water Works Association, Atlantic City, New Jersey in June 27, 1978, the associates presented that a reverse osmosis (RO) household unit working at average household water pressure decreased the amount of lead level from an influent of 762 micro grams per liter to a mean lead concentration of 22 micro grams per liter. This means that RO constituted to 97% lead removal. Then, the activated carbon reverse osmosis unit further decreased the 22 microgram per liter RO effluent to a mean lead level of 5 micrograms per liter. This shows a clear 99% of removal for both RO and activated carbon.


How to know if water is polluted?

Some types of water pollution are quite evident: many of us have watched in news coverage about oil slicks recorded from helicopters flying overhead. However, otherwise water pollution is generally less obvious and much more complex to detect than this.

So in order to measure water pollution when we cannot observe it or when we do not even know it is there, then the quality of water must be checked.

There are 2 common ways of determining the quality of water.

  • Take samples of the water and quantify the concentrations of various chemicals that it consists. If the concentrations level is too high or the chemicals are harmful, water is considered as polluted. Diagnosis like this is termed as chemical index of water quality.
  • Another easy method to assess water quality is to analyzing the water animals, fish, insects, mammals and other invertebrates that the water will support. If distinct kinds of organisms can live in a river, the water quality is supposed to be good; if the river water supports no fish life at all, the quality is undoubtedly bad. like this are termed as biological index of water quality.

Fortunately, our planet Earth is forgiving and destruction from water pollution is often reversible. Life is all about choices and so is pollution. We can live with waste-strewn surfaces, dead seas, and fish that are too toxic to eat. It is our duty to prevent and cure for damage caused to our planet.We can join hands together to keep the environment and future of the nation clean so the humans, living organisms and species that depend on it remain healthy.

We at Perfect Healthcare take individual action to aid reduce water pollution by implementing environmentally friendly activities, reducing chemicals, pesticides, and so on. We invite community action too, by helping out on water clean and waste treatment processes to make the nation a better place to live and serve a cleaner drinking water.

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