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Water pollution happens when chemicals or dangerous foreign substances are introduced to water, including chemicals, sewage, pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural runoff, or metals like lead or mercury.According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 44% of assessed stream miles, 64% of lakes and 30% of bay and estuarine areas are not clean enough for fishing and swimming.
Some bacteria and pathogens in water can make people so sick they can die.
Types of Water Pollutants There are many sources of water pollution.
The EPA also states that the United State's most common contaminants are bacteria, mercury, phosphorus and nitrogen.
These come from the most common sources of contaminates, that include agricultural runoff, air deposition, water diversions and channelization of streams.
For over 1 billion people on the planet, clean water is nearly impossible to get.
Dirty, polluted water can make them sick and is especially tough on young children.When particles like sulfur dioxide get high into the air they can combine with rain to produce acid rain.Acid rain can turn lakes acidic, killing fishes and other animals.Water pollution can disrupt and negatively impact nature's water cycle as well.Natural Causes of Water Pollution Sometimes water pollution can occur through natural causes like volcanoes, algae blooms, animal waste, and silt from storms and floods.Water pollution can also severely affect marine life.For example, sewage causes pathogens to grow, while organic and inorganic compounds in water can change the composition of the precious resource.Commercial or industrial waste is a significant portion of solid waste.According to the University of Utah, industries use 4 million pounds of materials in order to provide the average American family with needed products for one year.Industries generate hazardous waste from mining, petroleum refining, pesticide manufacturing and other chemical production.Households generate hazardous waste as well, including paints and solvents, motor oil, fluorescent lights, aerosol cans and ammunition.