Water pollution is a global problem that puts our health at risk. Water is known as the “universal solvent” since water is able to dissolve more substances than any other liquid. For this reason, water can be easily polluted. Substances from industry, agriculture, human and animal waste, and natural sources can easily dissolve and mix with water resulting in water pollution. Polluted water can affect human health by either consuming, entering or washing in water that has pollutants in it. Consuming polluted water can result in digestive issues, chronic toxicity, neurological issues and even death. The most common illnesses result from the presence of water borne pathogens and diseases such as giardia, cholera and typhoid.
Below are some common sources of contaminates:
Industry: Hydrocarbons, organic solvents and heavy metals associated with various industrial activities can migrate into aquifers or run off into streams.
Agriculture: When pesticides and fertilizers are utilised for agricultural purposes, they have the potential to be enter water sources by rainfall runoff or can percolate into aquifers.
Human and animal waste: Harmful microbes can be carried into drinking water sources for examples E. coli, Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Natural sources: Groundwater quality can represent the water chemistry of the local area. The chemical composition of water is strongly influenced by water-rock interaction and by hydrologic parameters such as the residence time. As groundwater moves slowly through an aquifer the composition of water continues to change, usually by the addition of dissolved constituents. A longer residence time will usually increase concentrations of dissolved solids. The water can contain naturally occurring arsenic or other heavy metals.
Everybody is responsible to a degree for the water pollution that has occurred. The cumulative impact resulting from population growth and urbanization has had a significant impact on our water resources. As an individual there are easy ways that you can implement in your everyday lifestyle that can prevent or limit your contribution to water pollution.
Reduce, reuse or recycle plastic accumulated in the household.
Dispose of oils, chemical cleaners and non-biodegradable items properly in order to prevent them from ending up down the drain.
Conduct regular maintenance on your vehicle to ensure it is not leaking oil or antifreeze.
In your yards avoid using pesticides and herbicides.
Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd. (ENVASS) offers a wide range of water monitoring services, which can be utilised on your next project. If you may require a proposal for water monitoring services please do not hesitate to contact our highly qualified and experienced specialists at ENVASS on 012 460 9768 or firstname.lastname@example.org