The Perils of Water Polution

Delainey Root, MVC Writer

“There have been years of negotiation and warnings and nothing was done. The cause is residential and industrial waste, and untreated waste that is discharged in deep waters,” said Mustafa Sari, a professor at the Maritime Faculty of Bandirma Onyedi Eylul University while discussing the Sea of Marmara’s water pollution with New York Times. 

Water pollution is one of the many problems the environment is currently facing. As of 2018, 80 percent of the Earth’s wastewater is dumped into the environment without the proper treatment. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, almost half of the rivers and streams are polluted and the water is not safe for human consumption. 

 Water that is not suitable for drinking has been reported to cause illness to nearly 1 billion people per year. The World Health Organization estimated that 3.575 million people die from diseases contracted from water every year. Every year 3.5 million people contract diseases from swimming in contaminated water. The health issues from swimming in contaminated water can be as simple as skin rashes and pink eye, and as extreme as hepatitis and respiratory infections. 

A slight irregularity in one of the many parts of the ecosystem can cause a domino effect among the rest of the complex order. Water pollution leads to a reduction of the oxygen found in water. The lack of oxygen suffocates the wildlife living in the polluted waters.

 Metals and chemicals getting poured into water is also a large cause of the loss of marine life. It can lead to the death of animals, reduction of life span, and even an inability to reproduce. 

Though some of the water pollution is not caused by the everyday person, one of the largest causes is completely man-made. Much of people’s old garbage ends up in oceans and other bodies of water. Simple items like plastic bags can suffocate marine life. The debris that ends up in the water is responsible for the harming of over 200 different species of animals. It was reported that 100 millions marine animals die from plastic waste each year.  

Though it is impossible to completely eliminate all water pollution, there are little steps every person can take in the right direction. 

Mrs. Huth, who teaches biology stated, “The best way to reduce water pollution is to reduce the amount of plastic we use.”

There are very easy fixes such as limiting plastic waste, avoiding pesticides and herbicides, and cleaning up pet waste.