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What is Water Pollution?: 7 Facts About Water Pollution and How it Affects Your Business
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Are you worried about water pollution in your business?

It's no secret that humans have been abusing our natural water supplies for several hundred years now, resulting in a great deal of turmoil and danger to us and our environment. But, how exactly does water pollution affect your business?

Here, we'll look at 7 facts about water pollution and what it might be doing to your business and what your business might be doing to contribute to water pollution.

Avoid the negative effects and become a part of the solution today.

1. Water Pollution 101

Water pollution is a pretty simple concept. It's when harmful chemicals and/or microorganisms enter a water source and contaminate the water, making it unsafe for human and animal use.

Toxic substances are everywhere and enter our rivers, lakes, and oceans with ease. Water pollution kills more people than war and violence every year. We're now at the point where only 1% of our fresh water is accessible to us.

2. Effects on Water

There are three water sources that water pollution affects: groundwater, surface water, and the ocean.

  • Groundwater is the water that fills the cracks and crevices of the earth. Americans rely on groundwater as one of their main sources of fresh water. It gets contaminated by fertilizers, pesticides, and septic/landfill waste.
  • Our surface waterways are contaminated mostly by municipal and industrial waste, as well as nutrient pollution from farm waste and fertilizer runoff.
  • Oil spills, plastics, and pollution from farms and factories have been destroying our oceans since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

3. Point Source & Non-Point Source

Water pollution sources can be divided into two types. Point Source pollution is when pollution comes from a single source like a factory, farm, or refinery. The EPA regulates how much waste can go into waterways, but one point-source can affect miles of waterways.

Non-point source, on the other hand, is agricultural and storm waste runoff, as well as debris that gets blown into waterways. This is much tougher to regulate and is thus the leading cause of water pollution in the US.

4. Agriculture, Sewage, Wastewater

Agriculture pollution is the leading cause of water pollution in the US. This is mostly the result of rainwater washing the bacteria and viruses from fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste from farms into waterways.

After agriculture, sewage and wastewater are the next worst things for our waterways. The pollution occurs from our wastewater (our used water) going back into the waterways, unfiltered.

34 billion gallons of wastewater gets filtered every day by treatment facilities, but 850 billion gallons get released unfiltered per year.

5. How It Affects the Environment

The effects of all of this water pollution are stark. All of the chemical and agricultural waste that enter our waterways are horrible for the ecosystem.

Basically, in a thriving ecosystem, bacteria, animals, plants, and fungi interact with one another in a consequential relationship. When harmful substances affect one of these things, a chain reaction occurs and everything else is negatively affected. Once the chain reaction begins, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop.

6. How It Affects Humans

Water pollution kills humans. 1.8 million people died of water pollution in 2015 and over 1 billion people were made ill as a result of water pollution.

Most of the illnesses are the result of unsafe drinking water in under-developed countries. Typhoid and cholera occur from unfiltered wastewater that contains bacteria from animal and human waste.

7. Solutions...

Now that you know the causes and effects of water pollution, you can determine if your business is a culprit or not. Almost all businesses are to some degree, which is why it's such a huge problem, but there are things you can do to lessen your contributions to this epidemic.

Proper disposal of chemical, agricultural, and human waste is the easiest way to go about fixing this problem. Doing your research and figuring out what the best practice for waste disposal is for your industry will lower your water pollution footprint.

Turn Your Business Around Today

There's no reason to procrastinate any longer. You now know why water pollution occurs and learning how to stop your own water pollution is the first step to helping the environment and your fellow humans. At the rate we're going, water pollution will become even more deadly in the future.

Educate yourself on this worldwide problem and try to use your business to help fix it. For more information on water quality and how you can monitor it, visit our page.

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