Water Pollution – Christian Smith

Water is considered one of the most important world resources and is essential to all forms of life. Water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface and is crucial for both the environment and the human population. Although water covers over 70% of the earths surface,  40% of the rivers are too polluted to either swim or fish in, and even worse 46% of the lakes are too polluted for both swimming and fishing. Many things on this earth are dependent on a clean water water-pollution-tablesource, yet its not always easy to come by because water can be polluted in many different fashions. Its not only small bodies of water that are at risk of pollution, large bodies such as Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Water pollution can take many forms, it can be both natural and unnatural. Biological water pollution is an example where some virus and bacteria are in the water. When dealing with biological water pollution direct contact such as swimming, washing clothes, or drinking can lead to very serious and contagious disease such as Cholera and Typhoid. In class we discussed how many things can lead to the contamination of water. We read through  Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in America History, Ted Steinberg and he talks about the  “flush and forget “ and how people would use feces would be used as fertilizer but some of it would go into rivers and lakes and contaminate the water (chapter 10). Sternberg also talks about how flooding washes away animal excrement that leads to water contamination and illness (Steinberg 12) . Which back in early days when the nations were still over much less developed than we are now, they did not have purification and treatment systems for their water as we do today.

The type of water pollution most familiar with people is called chemical water pollution. Chemical water pollution is caused by the addition of unwanted chemicals to the water brought on by the accidental spillage of substances into the water. An example of this would be waste from a factory, or pesticides running off fields into water supplies. Chemicals in water are poisonous and harmful to wildlife as well as making the water too polluted to drink. The pollution of water by oil also falls under chemical pollution. This pollution holds heavy side imageseffects on the environment and wildlife because of all the oil covered birds and dying wildlife that create new and lasting effects on the environment.

Water Pollution can lead to many things but two of the majors concepts are the effects of water pollution of human health, and the effects of water pollution dealing with overall ecological risk’s. The concept of water pollution and human health can be broken up into a variety of subcategories, for instance  contamination of drinking water can induce health risks from pollution that vary from area to area,  orally ingesting bacteria or disease can lead to serious illness and disease.

Another issue facing the world today is the level of mercury in the oceans. Inorganic mercury is the result of a number of industrial processes. The level of mercury in fish is mostly dangerous only for small children and women who might become pregnant, are pregnant or are nursing. Mercury is linked to interfere with the development of the central nervous system in fetuses and young children, which could lead to a large amount of long-term side effects.

Also the health effects of toxic runoffs, this problem is when floods and dumping lead everything into a body of water that pollutes it, a reoccurring event for the people in Louisiana because many states along the Mississippi river dumps toxins into it that pour out into Louisiana. This is believed to cause the high level of cancer in that area, people fishing and eating their catch from the polluted water.

The ecological factors of pollution consist of things such as  Algal blooms. These blooms create enormous depletion in fish population because as the oxygen in the water drops and the fish suffocate. Fish can also be killed when excessive algae get caught in their gills. Which is not good because as we learned from Steinberg that “people were more dependent than every on fish” (Steinberg 4) and with the loss of fishing holes and use of rivers because of mimages-2ajor logging going on that would change the lives of people who would rely on fish for food. These pollutants sometimes lead to  what is known as an “Ecological Dead Zone ” where the habitat changes enough to force the fish out creating a vacant body of polluted water.

For more information about Water Pollution, refer to the following source-

Ted Steinberg, “America in Black and Green” in Down to Earth:  Nature’s Role in American History, Second edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

“Water Pollution Facts.” Water Pollution Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

“Effects of Water Pollution.” <i>LoveToKnow</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2015.

“Types of Water Pollution.” <i>LoveToKnow</i>. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.


6 thoughts on “Water Pollution – Christian Smith

  1. Nick Rolli Post author

    I like the chart in your first picture. It really explains which bodies of water are most contaminated with pollution and to the severity they are polluted.

  2. earthhist Post author

    I like and agree with all of the points you made in your post about the health problems related to pollution and its biological effects. Do you have any personal ideas or solutions to the problem or have you read about ones that you think would make a significant change in such a valuable resource? Your information and your pictures were very effective.

    1. christian smith Post author

      Personally I do not have any idea of my own that could create a significant change in the problem, but through my findings in the reading it is clear to me that a large amount is due to the waste of big business corporations, and their ways of disposing of waste. Along with the lack of concern many people have with the environment.

  3. aciaramitaro

    Very interesting post Christian! It is terrible to see this happening around the world. It blows my mind the way that people treat our oceans. I think that you did a great job writing this and I love the connection you made to our class. The only question I came across when reading this is , Can anything be done to revert our waters? It most likely is too late but if not, I think we should really bare down and figure out what to do to protect them! Overall great read!

    1. christian smith

      In regards to your question about reverting the water, it depends on how polluted the water is! Reverting water can be very expensive, there are different procedures that prove more effective than others but some of polluted waters are just a lost cause and a biological hazard at this point!

  4. mlongbi101anselm

    Ive been learning about the disease Chlorea in my biology class. In Chlorea’s case, poorer countries are more vulnerable because they typically have worse water filtration systems. Also, natural disasters are companions to chlorea. Recently in Haiti, there was a bad outbreak because the disease was complemented by flooding of waste and the humans contracted the disease quickly


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