Water Pollution

Water pollution occurs when harmful materials are introduced into the lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater. These harmful materials are referred to as pollutants. There are a variety of pollutants ranging from biological (e.g., bacteria and viruses) to chemical (e.g., metals, solvents, pesticides, and floating detergents and oils) forms, and from nutrients (e.g., phosphorus and nitrogen) to suspended sediment. They cause diverse problems in aquatic ecosystems. Pathogens serving as typical microbiological pollutants cause many illnesses ranging from typhoid and dysentery to minor respiratory and skin diseases. Chemical pollutants are poisonous to aquatic life, birds, animals, and people. Excess inputs of nutrients from agricultural management lead to eutrophication—the excessive growth of algae, periphyton, and weeds, which can deplete dissolved oxygen to the detriment of fish, reduce potability, ...

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