Water Pollution

Essay by hueytyanJunior High, 7th gradeB-, January 2008

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Water is one of the valuable and precious resources of our earth. 65% of our bodies are made up of water. Although water covers 71% of the earth's surface, 97% of the world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. 2% of the earth's water is locked in ice caps and glaciers, this leaves only 1% for all humanity needs.

We use water to drink, for recreation or just to look at. Water pollution can occur through natural processes, but mostly it is a result of human activities. When water becomes polluted, it loses its value to us economically and aesthetically.

We use water daily in our homes and industries. Water we use is taken from lakes and rivers and from underground (groundwater). After we have used and contaminated it, most of it returns to these locations. Used water of a community is called wastewater or sewage. If there are not properly treated before being discharged into waterways, serious pollution is the result.

Water pollution also occurs when rainwater runoff from urban and industrial and agricultural land and mining operation makes its way back to receiving waters (river, lake or ocean) and into the ground.

There are a few different types of water pollution. Microbiological water pollution happens when disease causing (pathogenic) microorganisms like bacteria, viruses or protozoa can cause swimmers to get sick. Chemicals that are disposed by factories can also pollute the environment. These chemicals can cause acid rain. Aquatic life may also consume the chemicals which might kill them or else be passed up the food chain.

Oxygen depleting substances which may be present in polluted water is another problem. When oxygen depleting substances are present in water, the amount of oxygen in the water will decrease until a point where there is not enough oxygen for...