Pollution of Air and Water

How does water get polluted?

Wouldn’t you want to visit a place where there are clear skies, clear waters and it’s peaceful? But does this place exist anymore? Rather, is there any more scope that someplace so beautiful can exist? Not to crash your dreams but, there’s a very slight possibility that something so beautiful will ever exist again. Why not, you ask? Well, it’s because of water pollution! And what are the causes of water pollution? And above all can we prevent it? Let’s find out below.

Source: Pbase.com

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What are the causes of Water Pollution?

The pollutants that contaminate the quality of water are known as ‘Water Pollutants’ such as human excreta, wastes from household kitchens, toxic and radioactive substances, etc. Most of the water pollution occurs due to wastes released by chemical factories, oil factories or oil spill accidents. Here are the major causes of water pollution:

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Water Pollutants

These water pollutants are what make up for the risk that living being have when they polluted water. These water pollutants are:

Living Wastes:

Human or animal excrete contain various microorganisms that cause diseases amongst the living, the release of this excreta in water poses a major to water and thereby affecting the living too.

Toxic Wastes:

Wastes released from factories are usually toxic, dangerously treated with chemicals and sometimes there are even nuclear wastes disposed of in water such as uranium, radon, etc. Along with this, there are also chemicals released in water after the completion of their use; chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides, soapy water, etc; and these chemicals can be organic or inorganic chemicals.

 Plant Wastes:

These are organic wastes where nutrients in plants such as nitrated and phosphates produce fertilizers or manure which are actually harmful to the plants.

Kitchen wastes:

The wastewater produced by household or restaurants kitchens carry many harmful microorganisms that lead life-threatening diseases, these microorganisms are responsible for diseases like Malaria. These microorganisms then become breed on other creature which acts like their carriers and these carriers infect an individual who in turn infects someone else and the cycle keeps going.

Oil Spills

Water polluted by oil spills pose a major risk for the living as during an oil spill large quantities of oil enter and risk not the human life but marine life too.

Global warming:

Global warming doesn’t just affect the land creatures but it also affects the aquatic life since if and when the temperature rises up waters will dry up leading to the death of marine life.


As population size increases, the demand for basic needs like shelter, food, etc also increases. Therefore to produce these needs one needs space and land, and land can be occupied by either destroying natural surroundings present on land or drying up water bodies and occupying those lands.

How does water pollution affect us?

Case Study: River Ganga Action Plan

The Ganga or popularly known as The Ganges, is undoubtedly India’s most sacred places but sadly it is not sacred anymore. What used to be a place to wash your sins away has a now become a place where sins happen. More than half of India’s population is dependent on the waters of river Ganga. Sadly the water become so polluted now, that one can actually see the mountains of trash built up the Ganga.

And this water pollution is alone caused by us, humans. And there’s only so much we’ve been able to achieve so far.

The release of ashes and dead bodies in the river is one of the primary causes of water pollution of the Ganga. And now seeing that it’s already so polluted, industries nearby too have begun to dispose of their wastes in Ganga. Seeing such poor condition of the river Ganga, in 1985 a plan to save the river Ganga called ‘The Ganga Action Plan’ was launched.  Its primary aim was to lower the pollution levels in the river, which seems to be shutting down soon.

Solved Example for You

Q. Which of the following is a point source of water pollution?

a. Industries

b. Power Plants

c. Coal Mines

d. All of the above

Sol: d. All of the above

A point source is a single, identifiable source of pollution, such as a pipe or a drain. All the industries, factories and other sources directly discharging their polluted water to the river bodies creating a lot of water pollution and health hazards for the aquatic life.

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