What Causes Poor Water Quality?

What Causes Poor Water Quality?

There are 4 major sources of freshwater pollution:

Dumping industrial effluents

When companies that own manufacturing factories don’t uphold strict policies for their disposal of industrial effluents, they are effectively polluting their local waterways.

Agricultural runoff

Fertilizer runoff from commercial farms into the waters cause excess algae growth which suffocates fish and other aquatic life. 

Leakage of untreated waste

Without regular maintenance, public infrastructure like our sewage systems fall into states of disrepair, letting untreated or inadequately treated municipal sewage leak into our groundwater and surface water, especially in developing countries. 

Products and chemicals used at home

Common household chemicals can have a big impact on public water supplies. Even the pesticides that we use on our backyards, outdoor recreation centers, and golf courses pose a serious threat of contamination to our lakes, rivers, and aquifers. Swimming pool chemicals, particularly chlorine, causes a lot of damage. 

Where Do We Get Our Water?

By getting more acquainted with where our water comes from, you can figure out where and how your local community gets their water.

Ground water 

This encompasses all of the aquifers and other sources of water buried underground. Scientists estimate that this makes up ~ 1% of our total usable water.

Surface water 

Surface water includes all of the water found in our lakes, rivers, and other terrestrial sources. 

Remember, discovering the source of drinking water is just the beginning, in order to learn more about the water that comes out of your faucet specifically, you’ll want to read through your local water quality report. Most cities offer a general report on their official website that should be updated annually.