Tragic Types Of Water Pollution We Must Prevent
If it’s a natural gift that provides life and sustenance, chances are that it’s being polluted. Everyone should be aware of the types of water pollution that are killing marine life and poisoning our estuaries. It may not be as sexy as PETA (who wouldn’t rather go naked than wear fur?). However, it’s important information to know to build a more sustainable world.
1 | Micro-plastics
One of the types of water pollution that the beauty industry is especially guilty of is the pollution from micro-plastics. These small synthetic plastics are usually used in consumer products like the micro-beads in facial scrubs.
Once the product is used and flushed down the drain, these micro-plastics travel to the ocean where they negatively affect bottom-feeding creatures like oysters.
2 | Chemical Water Pollution
While the agricultural industry may be full of cute farmers and straw hats, it’s also responsible for one of the most dangerous types of water pollution for estuaries.
Agricultural and industrial chemicals can run-off into water and pollute estuaries, killing commercially important fish and shellfish. The colorized satellite image shows Carolina Coast stormwater pollution.
3 | Suspended Matter
Not all types of water pollution are invisible to the naked eye. Particulate matter that doesn’t dissolve in water are often visible on the water’s edge. These suspended particles settle on the bottom of rivers and lakes, killing the marine life that lives there.
Just imagine how much more depressing Finding Nemo would be if his home was covered in a fine, brown layer of polluted silt!
4 | Microbiological Water Pollution
After COVID-19, we’ve all had just about enough of viruses to last us a lifetime. However, microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa are responsible for killing humans, land animals, and marine life alike.
These types of water pollution usually hit poor countries the hardest, as they lack the resources to treat polluted water. However, microbial pollution can affect higher economic areas as well.
5 | Excess Nutrients
Too many nutrients can do more than just ruin your summer bod—they can also kill marine life. Wastewaters and fertilizers cause weeds and algae to grow out of control if they end up in the water.
The overproduction of algae due to excess nutrients can rob estuaries of the oxygen they need to support other marine life, making this one of most insidious types of water pollution.
6 | Groundwater Pollution
It’s not just estuaries and marine life that suffer from the different types of water pollution. Groundwater pollution is when the underground water located in soil or beneath rock structures becomes contaminated.
These pockets of water are aquifers (remember learning about those in science class? Me neither). Groundwater pollution affects our drinking water and can cause serious illness.
Preventing These Types Of Water Pollution
While you may not be the kind of person who would throw their trash into the ocean, you may be unwittingly contributing to different types of water pollution through the products you buy and the companies you support. Learn more about the different organizations fighting water pollution to do your part in building a more sustainable world. You can also check out easy ways to curb plastic pollution to be even more environmentally friendly (if only for the bragging rights).