Sources of Water Pollution

Did You Know That There are Numerous Sources of Water Pollution?

The sources of water pollution are diverse and so are the consequences. We have provided you a list of the sources that contaminate water to a large extent. Read on...
Water pollution is a consequence of contamination of different sources of water, that has become one of the major environmental issues today. The sources of water being polluted give rise to numerous diseases that affect living beings present in the biosphere to a large extent. A threat is posed to marine and terrestrial life forms, which is a serious reason behind loss of biodiversity.

Water pollution mostly takes place due to throwing of waste into the water bodies. Dirty water merging into oceans and rivers also contaminate them to a large extent. Apart from human intervention, water pollution could also be caused due to natural calamities.

Point Sources of Water Pollution

Point sources are those from where the pollutants seep directly into the main water bodies. Since pollution takes place from a particular identifiable source, it's termed as point source. Since the source is discreet, the load of contaminants is also high. Point sources are utterly polluted with industrial wastes, chemicals, garbage and other types of disposable goods that are capable of causing high intensity of pollution. They include:
  • Pipes containing waste matter and sewage treatment plants are some of the most common sources. Other types of conveyances that cause water pollution include ditches and running canals where wastes are deposited from municipalities or localities. The waste substances from factories and plants are directly thrown into oceans and seas, that pollute water to a large extent. Such wastes are composed of various inorganic and organic substances that increase mineral load of water bodies causing depletion in number of decomposer microorganisms.
  • Chemical and radioactive elements released as a result of earthquakes and tsunamis is also included under the list of point sources. When the water used for cooling systems in factories is released directly into water bodies, thermal pollution takes place. The heat of water threatens aquatic life as the amount of dissolved oxygen in water substantially reduces. Radioactive materials when accumulated in water, cause serious health hazards to marine biota.
Non-Point Sources of Water Pollution

Non point sources are those that do not have a single point of origin. For example, when rainwater runs off land, it carries different types of contaminants along with, which mix with other water bodies. Thus, the contaminants accumulate from different sources, by which they cause water pollution.
  • Natural calamities like storms and floods cause sheet erosion that takes away garbage waste and various other types of pollutants with them. The running water is highly polluted because it flows through roads, fields and waste water canals, that further merges with large water bodies. Thus, you can see that non-point sources have far flung effects. Such a source of water pollution is also known as urban runoff.
  • Toxic pollutants like herbicides and pesticides used extensively in farming can build up in lakes, rivers, ponds and streams (this process is known as eutrophication of water bodies) that are highly poisonous to fish and other creatures dwelling in water. It also poses serious health risks to human beings when they unknowingly use the water for cooking purposes. This type of water pollution is more prevalent in villages.
  • Wastes like plastic, anti-freeze chemicals, vegetable wastes, detergent wastes, etc., are more frequently disposed off from households. Such waste matters are often thrown into nearby canals and ponds. All these activities are common sources of non-point water pollution that must be taken care of. Oil spills from ships is also rampant in oceans , where marine life is severely threatened. Ground water pollution takes place when contaminated rainwater seeps underground.
Controlling water pollution is an important global concern which is possible only through individual effort. Now that you know how water gets polluted you can stop those activities that contaminate water. Although it's not an overnight affair, we can still conscientiously make a move to preserve the water bodies from getting polluted.