home water pollution by Healthy life www.healthy-life.online

home water pollution by Healthy life www.healthy-life.online



practices are closely tied to the centerpiece of this whole water quality puzzle pollutants some water pollutants are easy to see like garbage but the most serious pollution problems aren't as obvious sediment nutrients chemicals pathogens sediment is simply soil it's a valuable resource in a farm field or along a stream bank but it becomes a major problem when it's washed into waterways at the root of the problem is erosion erosion off of farm fields construction sites where you don't have proper sediment control structures in place you can easily have sediment eroded off of those landscape areas and you can have passed your areas that are over grazed animal access cattle access directly to streams with all the trampling along a stream corridor that exposes bare ground which in turn exposes sediment to erosion and then along all of our major rivers if you don't have a lot of vegetation sort of holding the soil in place stream banks can be a major source of sediment why is soil so damaging when it's in water it affects everything from the way water looks to what can live in it sediment can block sunlight influencing what types of vegetation and species can thrive in that water sediment fills in waterways affecting transportation and Recreation and sediment can be a carrier for other pollutants like toxic chemicals which attach to the sediment making it a double threat next are nutrients which pose an entirely different problem nitrogen and phosphorus are natural components of manure human sewage and decaying organic matter like leaves they're also present in manufactured fertilizers nutrients are applied to farm fields to feed crops and to backyard Gardens they're used to green up golf courses and lawns they become a problem when precipitation washes nutrients off the land and into waterways once they're in water they do what they do on land enhance plant growth when we have too much nitrogen in the water your water tends to turn green get a lot of algae blooms when those algae blooms finally died and the algae start to decompose they take up all the oxygen in the water and so there is a low amount of oxygen in the water which causes problems for fish and plants because they need that oxygen nutrients aren't just damaging to watery ecosystems they also pose a real risk to humans nitrates a byproduct of nitrogen are especially dangerous when we have too much nitrogen in drinking water for instance babies may be infants under six months of age can develop something called blue baby syndrome and what that is is their blood can't carry enough oxygen and that can cause some health problems and in fact we may have older people or people who are in poor health that can also have that problem the risk is so serious that the Environmental Protection Agency EPA tightly regulates their levels allowed in drinking water chemicals are another class of pollutants some chemicals commonly used in manufacturing mercury PCBs lead are toxic to the environment and humans when they reach certain levels because of the health risks these chemicals pose the EPA carefully regulates industrial wastes special permits govern the disposal of toxic chemicals but spills accidents and improper disposal mean they still get into waterways the problem isn't just industrial either think of the toxins around your own house cleaners paint thinners pesticides oil improper disposal of just one gallon of oil can impair 250,000 gallons of water about the amount of water in this pool agriculture also relies heavily on chemicals like herbicides and pesticides their application needs to be carefully controlled to prevent contamination of water the list of chemicals we use every day has grown faster than our knowledge of how they interact with the environment emerging contaminants a buzzword in water circles looks at chemicals not traditionally tracked like caffeine over-the-counter drugs antibiotics and disinfectants a study completed by the United States Geological Survey found many of these contaminants and streams across the United States now the real work begins to see what if any effects these chemicals have on water quality pathogens are probably the most serious threat to our health pathogens are disease-causing bacteria and viruses they can come from human sewage our raw animal waste if pathogens contaminate water and aren't eliminated during treatment the tiny organisms can kill one of the real risks that anybody faces who treats water either to drink or as we do to make in a condition that can be returned to the river so Fish and Wildlife can use it and so other people can drink it is killing certain kinds of viral infections or bacteria you

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