Water pollution means the contamination of Water bodies like lakes, rivers, oceans, ground water, etc. by physical, chemical, biological or radio-logical contaminants. Water Pollution can be classified broadly into the following categories:
Surface Water Pollution: Surface water bodies include lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, pools, etc. The surface water is polluted due to waste disposal from human usage. Plastics, household garbage, etc. are disposed into surface water bodies leading to pollution. In addition, industrial, agriculture, sewage, etc. contamination is a big reason for Surface Water Pollution.
Marine Water Pollution: Marine Water bodies like Oceans and Seas, are contaminated because of pollution from Rivers emptying into them. In addition, some of the surface water contaminants are directly released into Oceans and Seas too leading to Marine Water Pollution.
Ground Water Pollution: Ground Water bodies are found under the surface of the Earth, inside rock formations, buried inside the soil, etc. Ground Water can get contaminated due to direct sources apart from Ground Water. These can be agriculture fertilizers, industrial underground chemical storage tanks, underground sewage tanks, etc.
Sources of Water Pollution are also classified into the following:
Point Sources: When the contamination occurs from a Single Point Source like the leakage of a pipe etc. it is called Point Source Pollution.
Non-point Sources: When the contamination occurs from a collective effect of multiples sources, it is called Non-Point Source Pollution.
Water Pollution Management is a major concern of the Global Economy today. There are various ways in which this problem can be dealt with.
- Sewage treatment plants: Governments generally treat the waste water in sewage treatment plants before the water is disposed-off, back in the environment. These plants reduce the contamination by more than 75%.
- Industrial waste management: Industrial waste management sometimes involves plants similar to sewage treatment plants. But in addition, there can be plants and systems, that are very specific to neutralise the toxic effects of the chemical by-products of certain industries.
- Agriculture waste management: This involves dealing with point sources like leakages, daily farms, pig farms, etc. The soil contamination by fertilizers, etc. can be controlled by regular soil testing and dealing with the ground water pollution problem accordingly.
Water Pollution is a major global problem that needs urgent global scale solutions.