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WATER POLLUTION

The water gets polluted when toxic substances enters the lakes, oceans, rivers, streams and get collected on the bed which gradually deteriorates the quality of the water. Industrial wastes that are discharged in the rivers are the main cause of water pollution. There are no adequate facilities to treat the waste. Another major water pollutant is the water from the fields that drains in the rivers.

Household products like cans, bottles, plastics etc., are thrown in lakes, rivers polluting them as these contain harmful chemicals. Earlier soaps made of animal and vegetable fats were used but today these detergents come from petrochemical industries. All forms of life in the water are affected as these detergents contains phosphates which softens the water.

WATER POLLUTION AND ITS IMPACT ON HEALTH: -
Fresh and clean drinking water is essential for a healthy living. But yet millions are deprived of this. The main cause of fresh water pollution is the discharge of untreated waste. Diseases like water-borne diseases are caused due to chemicals in drinking water which can be prevented by adequate measures.

1) CONTAMINATION OF GROUNDWATER: -
POP’s, heavy metals etc. contaminate the groundwater and has an adverse affect on health. Inadequate water management cause water-borne diseases. Safe water has higher coverage in urban areas than in rural areas. There are places where people use hand pumps for water as they cannot afford to pay for the services whereas areas that can pay for services have access to safe water.

The most important reason for contamination of water in the urban areas is the water pipe and sewage line pass together where the water pipe leaks.

VARIOUS SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION OF GROUNDWATER
a) Nutrients : -
Most of the domestic waste contains phosphorus and nitrogen, which increases the level of nutrients in water bodies. Nitrate contamination of groundwater is due to excessive use of fertilizers. By reducing the amount of nitrates in the soil can help in good agricultural practices.

b) Pesticides : -
The pesticides such as DDT run off from backyard and golf courses contaminate the water. As these chemicals are persistent in the water it is a matter of concern.

c) Sewage : -
The main cause of groundwater pollution is the inadequately treated municipal sewage. There are diseases which spread as the sewages carry microbial pathogens.

d) Synthetic Organics: -
In the aquatic environment are some of the synthetic compounds found. Industrial chemicals are the most harmful elements for human life. These chemicals generally accumulate in fish which inturn damages human life.

2) CHEMICALS FOUND IN DRINKING WATER: -
The chemicals that are found in water are either introduced by human are naturally found which have effects on human health.

Some of these chemicals found in drinking water are mentioned below: -

i) Lead: - Household plumbing systems like pipes, solders etc. are the main cause of contaminated of drinking water as they contain lead.

ii) Petrochemicals: - Petrochemicals from petroleum storage tanks underground contaminates groundwater.

iii) Fluoride: - For protection of dental caries fluoride is essential but inturn could affect the health if the level is higher.

iv) Arsenic: - Arsenic could have an adverse effect if the concentration of arsenic is higher in the water. In west Bengal few years back majority of people started suffering from skin illness due to high arsenic element in drinking water. The government is trying to remove arsenic from the water through different method and provide an alternative for drinking water.

3) DISEASES CAUSED BY CONTAMINATED WATER: -
Contaminated water spreads diseases like water borne disease. These diseases are spread through filth or spread directly. The common water borne diseases are cholera, typhoid, Hepatitis which have large affects on population. People suffering from these diseases should be carefully looked after as it is highly infectious.

4) MEASURES TO PREVENT DISEASES: -
Proper management of water resources would prevent from water borne epidemics and lead to a healthier and cleaner environment.

There should be a proper check on the water supply and disinfect it to prevent from any diseases to spread. On regular basis the leakages and cracks should be checked in the water pipes. Water should be boiled and filtered at home.