A Few Ways Drinking Water Can Get Polluted
Almost everyone is well aware of the levels of waste polluting our water, but trash is not the only foreign thing in our water, far from it. Water becomes contaminated in several ways other than through litter. Here are a few ways water can get polluted.
Many water pollutants cannot point back to a single cause. It is not possible to identify the source of pollution. They come from indirect sources such as construction site waste, mining waste, road paving, and industrial activity. Toxic chemicals can find their way to the water system through rainwater drainage, running rivers, and melting snow.
As you may have guessed, point sources are the opposite of non-point sources. They are sources of water pollution that are often identifiable and traceable.
Dirt and sediment are some of the most common sources of water pollution. Sediment is minerals that are broken down through wearing and erosion. It is matter that settles to the bottom of the water. It can be made up of many different sources of organic, solid matter. Sediment can also come from many different places. It can easily find it’s way into water sources and is often present in large amounts.
This biodegradable waste mostly consists of human and animal waste. When this waste enters a water source, it provides an energy source for bacteria. This form of pollution is highly widespread and problematic.
Plant nutrients and fertilizers, such as phosphates and nitrates, can easily find their way into public water supplies through sewage runoff. These fertilizers can produce bacteria, algae, and weeds inside of water. These contaminants are also legally allowed in drinking water in small but toxic amounts.
Hazardous and Toxic Chemicals
These are typically human-made materials that are not used or disposed of properly. These could come from industrial discharge or oil spills. Some non-point sources could be paved road or pesticide runoff. The most significant source of these chemicals, however, is domestic usage. People often flush chemicals and cleaners down the toilet; this leads to water contamination. People often overuse pesticides. This also causes water pollution even more than industrial sources.
Although public drinking water gets cleaned, any of these contaminants can easily find their way into your home’s drinking water. Many water pollutants are entirely legal. They are typically regulated and only allowed in small amounts, but even a tiny number of these contaminants is often dangerous.
Making sure the water you are drinking is safe is essential. It is a good idea to look into having your water tested for pollutants such as these and many more.