Types of water pollution, causes of water pollution and how to treat it

The types of water pollution are many and very numerous, and many people do not realize anything about them, and in this article there is a lot of information that will be circulated on this subject that will be very useful to you, so let us read the following.

Types of water pollution

chemical pollution

It is referred to as the pollution that results from the leakage of chemicals into water bodies that are on the surface or underground, and the causes of this pollution include:

  • Insecticides that are used in agricultural work.
  • Chemical pollutants emanating from factories that are located near water.

microbiological contamination

This type of pollution is the most widespread of all, and this is due to the spread of many microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses in different water sources, and this leads to infection with many different diseases such as schistosomiasis and cholera if it comes close to water sources that are used for drinking.

Developing countries are the most vulnerable to these diseases as a result of the spread of these pollutants in a very large way due to their inability to obtain modern machines that purify and treat water in particular.

Pollution due to nutrients

Despite the fact that the nutrients available in the water are very important for marine organisms, their excess leads to an imbalance in the ecosystem of those waters, as the abundance of these nutrients causes an abundance of algae in the water, which blocks the sun’s rays.

Fertilizers used in agriculture are another reason for this type of pollution, and this is due to the fact that they contain a large proportion of nutrients.

In addition to the fact that the excessive growth of algae consumes oxygen, which constitutes a very big problem for many organisms, which reduces it and increases anaerobic organisms that produce ammonia, sulfides, and many other toxins that are harmful to living organisms.
Ground and surface water pollution

This happens as a result of the leakage of some harmful things such as chemicals, fertilizers, and agricultural pesticides. This is the most dangerous of its kind because it takes many years to get rid of its effects due to the difficulty of accessing groundwater and the high cost of treatment.

Also, groundwater pollution may extend to the seas and water bodies on the surface of the earth, as the water on the surface of the earth is an important source of life on its surface, and its exposure to pollution causes many problems for all organisms, and there are many causes of pollution such as:

  • Nutrients.
  • Factory waste and random waste.
  • Leakage of petroleum materials into the water, which is one of the most serious causes of pollution of surface water.
  • Air pollution that occurs as a result of water absorbing carbon pollution from the air, which contributes to its pollution as well.

Point and non-point source pollution

This pollution is what is produced through a source that is easy to identify clearly and in plain sight. Examples of point source pollution are:

  • Pollution from sewage.
  • Pollution as a result of factory waste.
  • Pollution resulting from oil spills and various chemicals.

As for non-point pollution, it is the one that results from multiple sources and is difficult to define clearly, and dealing with it is very difficult, and examples of it are:

Pollution caused by polluted agricultural runoff.
Pollution that results from flying debris in waterways.

Water Pollution

Water pollution means the change that occurs to the water, its nature, quality, and known characteristics, which makes it unusable for all organisms, as this is done through the presence of extraneous materials that cause water pollution, chemical or bacterial substances, or even in the form of thermal or radiation energy for the various aquatic ecosystems , whether groundwater or surface water such as lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries and oceans.

As the occurrence of this type of pollution causes a severe negative impact on all environmental activities in the planet, as the water that has been exposed to pollution factors appears turbid and unfit for use, in addition to the very unpleasant odors that emit and the waste that floats on its surface.

But if the type of pollution is chemical, then this is not easy to notice with the naked eye, as a person faces a very great difficulty in distinguishing whether the water is polluted or not because it does not emit any color or smell, and the usability of the water can be measured through the following:

Chemical standards for water quality: This is done to test the water by checking the percentage of chemicals in it. To live in the water by the ability of marine organisms to live in it, such as fish, insects and invertebrates, and if a large percentage is able to adapt in it, then this expresses that it is suitable for use.

Sources of water pollution

According to the nature of the pollutants, the sources of water pollution can be classified according to the nature of the pollutants as follows:

Pollution by chemical sources:

Crude oil and various petroleum products float on the surface of the water because their density is less, and this causes them to appear in the form of shiny oily spots that form on the surface of the water, but if part of them is soluble in water, then this means severe pollution of the water. Examples of these materials are gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, oils Engines, lubrication and more.
Fertilizers that are transported to the seas and oceans during the occurrence of what is called soil erosion, as their increase above the normal rate causes poisoning of living organisms that are exposed to them, such as humans and marine organisms, and they are beneficial only to seaweed and harmful bacteria only.
Chlorinated solvents, which include tri- and tetrachloroethylene, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, freons, and chlorofluorocarbons, sink to water due to their high density and are not easily visible to the eye as clearly as petroleum.
Petroleum solvents such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene.
Organic and chemical solvents such as acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, some alcohols such as ethanol and isopropanol, or oxygen compounds such as methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE).
Antibiotics and many other medications.

Perchlorate compounds that can appear in water very naturally, especially in arid regions such as Chile, Texas, and California, are mostly used in military bases such as missiles, fireworks, and explosives.

Radioactive contamination: This means an increase in radiation levels above normal rates as a result of the abundance of human activities such as mining, the use of nuclear reactors to generate energy, and X-rays in medical supplies.

Biological pollutants: There are many reasons for this to happen, for example:

  • The presence of large numbers of worms, algae, and microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria in the water.
  • Decomposition of organic matter and animal waste.
  • Using improper methods to dispose of human waste.

according to the type of pollutants

Source-specific pollution: This refers to pollution that occurs as a result of the presence of only one cause explicitly, such as wastewater that is disposed of by manufacturers, oil refineries, and sewage treatment plants, whether legally or illegally.
Unidentified Source Pollution: In this case, we will not be able to know the causes that may have led to water pollution in addition to the fact that it results in greater damage. Examples may be pesticides, fertilizers, or polluted water runoff due to storms.

Causes of water pollution


Sewage is the main cause of water pollution, as it is home to microorganisms that cause diseases as well as rotting or already rotten materials that pose a very significant threat to water quality.

As there are many substances that decompose in wastewater by bacteria and many microorganisms, and this causes the consumption of a large amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, which poses a great danger to the rest of the other organisms that need a large proportion of oxygen in the water in order to Live.

In addition to the fact that sewage water is a great source of many plant nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, the increase of which contributes to the growth of algae significantly, and the death of these algae reduces the amount of oxygen in the water.

Throwing waste into the sea

Waste is one of the main causes of water pollution, as there are many places around the world that dispose of waste in the waters of the seas and oceans around it, which contain paper, food waste, plastic, rubber and aluminum waste.

As it is known that these materials take a very long time to decompose, paper needs approximately six weeks to be completely decomposed, while aluminum needs two hundred years to decompose and glass needs many years and this causes great damage to organisms and makes them you die.

Inorganic materials

Inorganic substances that cause significant water pollution when they are concentrated in the water, such as arsenic, mercury, copper, chromium, zinc and barium.

This type of pollution is the cause of many problems that affect human health, in addition to the many problems that will affect other marine organisms, and when these substances are present in high concentrations, they cause death.

the heat

Heat is one of the types of industrial waste that is discharged into the water, as these discharges cause a change in the components of the river or the ocean in which you are located, and although local heating is often beneficial, its effect is basically very harmful.

As this temperature reduces the solubility of oxygen in the water, due to the fact that the solubility of gases in the water is inverse with the temperature, and this makes marine organisms unable to breathe well and some of them are not able to reproduce in that environment.

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