Water pollution is a global plague that affects the people, animals, and plants. These life forms need water to survive. The causes are contributed greatly by the human population. Recently, laws have been passed to protect the precious drinking waters. Although they are in effect, most are ignored or loop holes have been found by major corporations so the can still “legally” dump harmful waste near water supplies. There are several factors that causes water pollution. One of the reasons that the water pollution problem is so severe is that it is not actually illegal to dump pollutants into water bodies. Sewage, sludge, garbage, and even toxic pollutants are all dumped into the water. Often, governments either do not care or simply look the other way. Across the world, about half of all sewage is dumped into water bodies in its original form. No efforts are made to disinfect the sewage or to remove especially harmful pollutants. Even if sewage is treated, problems still arise. Treated sewage forms sludge, which is sent out into the sea and dumped. Many cities and countries dump sewage out at sea.
Often, they place it not far from their own coastline, often killing all the sea wildlife in the dumping area. In addition to sewage, chemicals dumped by industries and governments are another major source of water pollution. Raymond Furon could not believe his finds when he tested a river used by a reservation as a main source of water and food. “Radioactive toxic waste were traced in lakes and rivers that Native Americans depend on” (79). Another dangerous cause is oil. Oil, such as that spilled by transport ships, has been dumped into the water since the US Civil War. Henry Gilfond had astonishing statistics on oil spills. “Every year, between 1 and 10 billion tons of oil are spilt, killing many species and destroying the ecosystem in the area. Cleanup efforts have been weak, as only about 10% of the oil is removed by the most successful efforts” (145).
The direct effect of oil spills is horrifying. Thousands of animals suffer a slow, agonizing death. This degrades the enviroment because not every oil soaked carcass is picked up, some wash up on shore for the innocent to walk upon and see. The effects of chemical water pollution are varied and depend on what chemicals are dumped and in what locations by industries. The main effect of chemical water pollution is that it kills life that inhabits water-based ecosystems. Dead fish, birds, dolphins, and many other animals often wind up on beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitat. The chemical poisoning in water have a great impact on humans because it can cause brain damage and physical deformities in unborn fetuses. Pollution disrupts the natural food chain as well.
Pollutants such as lead and cadmium are eaten by tiny animals. Later, these animals are consumed by fish and shellfish, and the food chain continues to be disrupted at all higher levels. Eventually, humans are affected by this process as well. People can get diseases such as hepatitis by eating seafood that has been poisoned. Ecosystems can be severely changed or destroyed by water pollution. Many areas are now being affected by careless human pollution, and this pollution is coming back to hurt humans. Water is a vital element of life. The pollution of water greatly affects humans and animals alike. Water pollution harms individuals, degrades the enviroment, and shows the ignorance of polluters. Water pollution is a senseless act that people can help stop.