It goes without saying that water is an important aspect of life. Yet, we currently face a serious ecological crisis with water pollution – and human activities are largely responsible for introducing pollutants into water bodies.
When pollutants and other forms of waste end up in our streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans, it causes irreparable damage to our planet’s ecosystems, threatens aquatic life, and degrades our quality of water.
Yes, the water that ends up in our households!
What Is Water Pollution?
Water pollution occurs when pollutants, in the form of waste products or toxic substances ends up in our lakes, rivers, oceans, or other bodies of water. There are a number of serious consequences when these contaminants are introduced into our planet’s water systems.
Garbage or other forms of plastic waste can keep drifting in the water for many many years. To be exact, it takes over 400 years for plastic to break down. Toxic substances can dissolve into the water, leaving behind chemical deposits and gradually leaching into the groundwater.
Various things can contribute to water pollution but human activities are largely to blame. City sewage and industrial waste discharge contribute heavily to this imminent ecological crisis, however, indirect sources are also involved. For instance, pollutants can enter the water supply through soil and groundwater systems.
What Are the Consequences of Water Pollution?
Water pollution is a serious threat to the health of humans and the sustainability of our planet’s ecosystems. When the main sources of water that humans rely on are affected by water pollution, it can have adverse effects on our health. Water pollution also causes irreparable damage to our ecosystems and creates an inhospitable environment to sustain aquatic life.
Ways to Prevent Water Pollution
Certain countries have implemented regulations to stop industrial and agricultural operations from dumping contaminants into the water – but of course, this isn’t enough.
When it comes to reducing our collective contribution to the water pollution crisis, it all comes down to being more conscious of the environment in our daily decisions. Here’s a list of simple ways to prevent water pollution!
1. Pay Attention to What You Pour Down the Drain
A lot of us actually don’t realize that there’s plenty of stuff we shouldn’t be pouring down our drains. When you cook, never ever pour grease, fat, or oil down the drain – just don’t do it! The best way to immediately dispose of oils and fats is to keep a jar under the sink to collect everything.
2. Stop Using Plastic Water Bottles
Litter is a huge problem. Majority of plastic water bottles end up piling up in our landfills or drifting in our oceans. In fact, research published in 2015 suggests that our oceans see up to 8 million metric tons of plastic each year.
The easiest way to reduce your contribution to water pollution is to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles. Instead of stocking up on bottled water from the market, invest in a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Another advantage to opting for a reusable water bottle? By cutting out the costs of purchasing bottled water, you save a ton of money in the long-run!
3. Your Toilet Isn’t a Garbage Bin!
Most of us already know this, but it still needs to be said. Your toilet isn’t a garbage bin – pay attention to what you’re flushing down the toilet!
By treating your toilet as a waste basket, many items end up in places where they don’t belong and it’s a very serious issue because they don’t break down the same way as toilet paper. Not to mention, it can also clog the pipes and introduce harmful substances into the water system!
4. Switch to Eco-friendly Cleaning Products
Opting for natural cleaning products is one of the best things you can do for the environment and your health!
Most household cleaning supplies are loaded with chemicals, which can leave behind a chemical residue on the surfaces we use them on. Natural cleaning products can get the job done just as well, while limiting your exposure to these harmful substances.
Most importantly, DON’T dispose of chemical cleaning agents down the drain because it introduces toxic substances into the water system!