Water Pollution [CC]


Oh, Sylvester Alexander, he hates everything! Hey there, freaky people,
it’s me, Sylvester! Now, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that water is
essential in maintaining all life here on Earth and I’m sure you also don’t
need me to tell you that the amount of safe drinking water here on this planet
is becoming increasingly scarce. of course, there are a lot of things that we
as individuals can do to minimize the impact that we have on our environment.
today, I’m here to talk about the effects that landfills, agriculture, industry and
chemical spills have on our global water supply.
firstly, let’s talk about landfills. landfills contribute enormously to
the contamination of water systems. landfill leachate are the liquid runoff
from landfills. Chemicals and other potentially dangerous substances
originate from the various materials that accumulate at landfills. they either
leach naturally into the surrounding soils or are carried into the
groundwater alongside rainwater. these leachates can not only travel with
rainwater, but may also be caused thereby, as water aids in the decomposition
process via the growth of bacteria. depending on the objects within the
landfill, leachates may contain pesticide residues, improperly disposed-of
household toxins and chemicals, solvents and heavy metals. all of these substances
are potentially harmful to human, plant and animal populations when they are
allowed to seep into groundwater sources. generally, leachates from landfills tend
to have high concentrations of nitrogen, iron and phosphorus, which are deemed as
nutrient pollutants. nutrient pollution, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency, is a growing concern, particularly when it occurs within
natural waterways. excessive nutrients in water can have damaging effects on
the health of humans, animals, plants and entire ecosystems. nutrient pollutants –
such as nitrates – are commonly found in drinking water samples. the effects of
many of these pollutants are not fully known, though research suggests that such
effects may range from rashes to severe medical emergencies. the effects of
nutrient pollution on the environment are a little more well-known. algal
blooms – the phenomenon in which algae grows in an extreme excess within an
ecosystem – have been shown to be a result thereof, and can impede the ability of
aquatic life forms to locate food sources. algae may block the gills of
fish, accumulate toxins that will eventually work their way through the
food chain and may even cause entire populations to migrate, thus altering the
very composition of an ecosystem. agricultural runoff is another method by
which dangerous substances are able to contaminate water sources. as mentioned
above, nutrient water pollution is a major issue which is why it is
disconcerting to note that many farmers apply phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium
to their fields in order to fertilize and aid in the successful growth of
their crops. chemical pesticides and herbicides are also deeply concerning as
they have been shown to have negative health effects on both humans and the
environment. when considering agriculture in the
sense of livestock, runoff can consist of dangerous bacteria, organic matter,
nitrates and phosphates. fecal matter and the related strains of bacteria such as
E coli and traces of antibiotics consumed by the livestock also leach
into soils and enter local waterways. the waste runoff from large farming
facilities can contain deadly pathogens and the EPA reports that the waste
produced by pigs, cows and chickens has polluted over 35,000 rivers across North
America. these rivers of course carry the potentially harmful runoff over great
distances shifting the risk of contamination from local to widespread.
industry also produces large quantities of toxic wastes that are often disposed
of irresponsibly and end up in water systems. industrial facilities discharge
wastes including such harmful substances as asbestos, lead, mercury, nitrates,
phosphates, sulfur, oils and petrochemicals. nitrates and phosphates
contribute to nutrient pollution, while lead and mercury are not biodegradable
and can negatively affect the health of organisms to which they are exposed, with
lead being known to inhibit enzyme activity while high concentrations of
mercury can cause mercury poisoning. oils and petrochemicals disrupt natural
ecosystems and may prove toxic to wildlife while, asbestos is a known human
carcinogen. sulfur – a product of many industrial chemical processes – is a key
component of acid rain. when combined with
oxygen to form sulfur dioxide, sulfur as a byproduct of Industry is a very
dangerous weapon. in bodies of water, acid rain has been shown to decrease
biodiversity, kill or eliminate entire species and can prevent fish eggs from
hatching. this is a result of many aquatic species being remarkably
sensitive to the pH of their environment just as humans are reliant on the
carefully regulated pH of their blood in order to survive. a shift in this
environment as caused by acid rain can irreversibly disrupt aquatic ecosystems.
acid rain also injures trees and forests and alters the acidity of soils which in
turn affects the ability of these soils to nurture life. another devastating
obstruction of the health of the Earth’s water systems is that of chemical spills.
when perusing list of Canada’s history of chemical spills it’s easy to become
rather overwhelmed by the magnitude of these environmental catastrophes. they
are far from rare and are responsible for massive quantities of chemical
substances being introduced into surrounding water sources. chemical
spills have occurred in the mining sector when the dikes containing tailing
ponds have malfunctioned. there have been raw sewage spills as a
result of equipment failures and spills from the petroleum industry where
thousands of tonnes of crude oil and gasoline were released accidentally into
the environment. these chemicals and substances are introduced to the
surrounding environment in such large quantities that their effects are highly
disturbing and largely irreversible. in summation, water is a very valuable
resource – if not the most crucial one – and it must not be squandered or taken for
granted. the introduction of chemicals, toxins, nutrients and other such harmful
substances to water systems is troubling because it threatens the health and
longevity of all plants, animals and natural systems on this planet. water
pollutants from industry, agriculture, waste management and government sectors
have adverse effects on the health of the entire planet and it is time that we
make the government take responsibility for what they are doing to our water.
thank you so much for watching, you have a great day. stay frosty. Bye.

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