Freshwater Pollution

Imagine trying to catch your favorite fish in a nearby stream and as you prepare to cast your line out you notice liquid waste pouring into the stream from a large iron pipe. Events such as this not only sicken true outdoorsmen but tend to instill anger in anyone who cares about our environment.

Freshwater pollution

Joseph Parish

Imagine trying to catch your favorite fish in a nearby stream and as you prepare to cast your line out you notice liquid waste pouring into the stream from a large iron pipe. Events such as this not only sicken true outdoorsmen but tend to instill anger in anyone who cares about our environment.

By definition, freshwater pollution is the process of contaminating inland water sources with any substance which would ultimately make it unfit for aquatic life. This sort of pollution could be created by chemical disposal, fecal waste, pesticide run off or random petroleum sediment deposits. Not only are polluted streams unable to support marine life but they are also a source of hazard for swimmers. Polluted water can not be drank and is unsafe for human use.

Before we describe the issue in detail let’s briefly review its historical aspects. For a period of hundreds of years fecal waste and other unhealthy pollutants have been dumped in American rivers with complete disregard for the future effects of such actions. In short, our nation’s rivers and streams have become open sewers. In 1972 the government stepped in and passed its water pollution act in order to regulate these destructive environmental dumping. Since those early attempts to correct the methods of waste water treatment facilities across the nation we have made slight but definite progress.

Although freshwater is responsible for less than three percent of our earth’s liquid reserves it is the source of all drinking water. American households consume approximately 94,000 gallons of drinking water annually. Over half of that water comes from rivers, reservoirs and lakes.

Enough of the history involved in this contaminated water. Let’s now move on to the issue at hand. There are more than 150 pathogens which have been discovered in livestock manure. These pose a grave risk to humans and to other livestock as a result of run-off. Add to that the effects of airborne pollutants such as dioxin and mercury along with the dangers of dissolved pollutants associated with sulfur and nitrogen oxides and we can readily see how we are destroying our aquatic reserves. Now we are experiencing minute contamination consisting of pharmaceuticals and personal-care products which are just as unhealthy for all concerned whether they are wildlife or human.

Once our supply of water has become contaminated it is extremely difficult, excessively expensive and oftentimes impossible to restore the stream or river to its previous state. It only stands to reason that the prevention of these polluted sanctuaries should be avoided in the first place. The federal government is continually passing various new acts in an effort to eliminate the risks of carcinogen pollution which pose cancer risks, intestinal lesions and kidney damage. The bottom line here is that it is up to us, the user of these waterways who must act responsibly by cleaning up our own mess. In order to prevent water pollution the simple answer is for us to stop littering our waterways. Properly dispose of trash and used oil will help greatly. Use non-phosphate detergents in your home for cleaning your dishes and clothing. Don’t over fertilize your lawns and use common sense in your pest control actions.

Copyright @2012 Joseph Parish

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3 Responses to “Freshwater Pollution”
  1. nourisv Says...

    On October 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    useful share!


  2. elee Says...

    On October 5, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Very nice article. Congrats, to you *


  3. OMICS Publishing Group Twitter Says...

    On March 1, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Thanks for posting the useful information. Global Freshwater Initiative researchers are developing strategies to promote the long-term viability of freshwater supplies for people and ecosystems threatened by climate change, shifts in land use, increasing population and decaying infrastructure.


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