Four of the Biggest Problems That Add to Water Pollution
Around the world, more than a billion people lack access to safe drinking water and some 5,000 a day are killed because of contaminated water. While most Americans can simply turn on the faucet when thirsty, many people around the world do not have that luxury. There are a handful of factors that play into that unfortunate trend, but one of the biggest is water pollution, which can impact people everywhere. The answer to questions about what causes water pollution is not simple, and there are several elements that add to water pollution.
Though several regulations have been put in place to help reduce the amount of waste that factories and other industrial facilities produce, the reality is that they still contribute to pollution. Contaminants like lead, mercury, and sulfur can all work their way into water sources and pose threats to both marine life and people who drink the water.
Sewage and Wastewater Produced by Communities
Many municipalities have wastewater treatment programs designed to prevent pathogens and other materials from entering water sources, they do not always get 100% of contaminants. Microorganisms too small for filters that don’t get killed by chemicals are often what causes water pollution that gets people sick.
Some water pollution problems are caused by accidents, but others simply stem from laziness or a general lack of care for the environment. When garbage from boats, cottages, and even homes is just dumped in the water, the items can take more than a century to decompose, and cause harm to marine life. There is actually a massive island nearly the size of Texas comprised entirely out of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean!
While what causes water pollution is often preventable, some problems, like gas and oil leaks, are accidental. When a car is leaking gas or oil, and owner might not even know for days. But the liquids that spring from the leak can work their way into water systems and do just as much damage as litter that was put there intentionally.
For the most part, if someone asks, “what causes water pollution?” the answer is simple. People. Despite efforts to prevent contaminants from getting into the water, there are still a number of things people do that pollute the very water that they drink. Though water conservation programs are helpful, without the support of the people living in communities where water is being polluted, little change is likely to occur.