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​Dirty Water: A Closer Look at Cause and Effect

Posted by Tammy Sons on

Water pollution is currently one of the hottest issues faced by the world today. The world’s water sources affect every living organism on this planet. This is not a crisis to ignore.

Do not be mistaken by common misconceptions, and restrict the concern of water pollution solely to the third world countries of the Earth. The problem is much more widespread than that.

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The consumerism and industrialization of first world countries could be a much worse situation. Let’s take a closer look at some of the causes and effects of water pollution.

Cause: Rainfall and Harmful Runoff

When harmful compounds are released into the atmosphere, it can cause what’s called Acid Rain. Acid rain is caused by a buildup of nitrogen and sulfur in the air. Volcanoes can be a natural source of these emissions.

Humans are the leading source of this destruction. Our coal-fired power plants and other booming industrial plants pump these chemicals into the atmosphere around the clock.

Effect: Acid Rain and Polluted Streams

The existence of acid rain only compounds what damage rainfall can cause on an ordinary occasion. Harmful rains can destroy the vibrant pigments of local plant life.

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When it rains, any poisonous chemicals not properly stored by humans can be washed away into the closest water source. This can, in turn, affect any wildlife that resides in or utilizes that water source for survival.

Cause: Industrial Dumping of Toxic Chemicals

A more direct cause of water contamination is the industrial dumping of toxic chemicals. Though there are strict requirements on the process of handling these toxic wastes, there are still plenty of opportunities for big powerhouses to flub the rules.

Effect: Eradication of Wildlife and Water Pollution

Toxic Dumping will quickly kill any wildlife in its path. When water is polluted, the animals that use that water for oxygen are rapidly affected.

Fish run water through their gills regularly. If that water is contaminated, they will take the chemicals into their gills along with anything else in the water. Pollution is responsible for killing loads of aquatic life all over the world.

Cause: Oil Drilling and Refineries

Accidents in oil drilling are not ever a simple issue to handle. When drills break or a pump fails, millions of gallons of crude oil spill into the ocean waters surrounding the rig. Cleaning up a mess of these proportions is nearly impossible.

Effect: Eradication of Wildlife, Global Warming, Harm to Sea Creatures

British Petroleum (BP) is responsible for the most catastrophic oil spill in the history of oil spills. Humanity truly had the opportunity to witness firsthand just how destructive human error can be to our planet’s well-being.

When oil spills occur, aquatic life suffers, and these effects travel up the food chain. Birds and humans that eat these fish suffer. The planet’s organisms are all tied together in a natural symbiotic balance. Spilling millions of gallons of oil into the ocean upsets this balance.

Conclusion: Water pollution is a clear and present danger. We can no longer afford to be lax on the issue. 

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