How to Control Water Pollution

Water is the basis of the life of all living beings. With the development of modern human civilization, the problem of water pollution has become a serious issue. There is a growing trend of industrialization and urbanization. The villages are fast being transformed into cities and urban clusters with the establishment of various industries in and around, leading to over-exploitation and contamination of water resources. Initially, when various technologies were not developed, the people used to live in the lap of the nature, but with the fast paced development and emergence of industrialization, water pollution has assumed alarming proportions. Due to rapidly growing population, construction of flats on mass scale is a growing trend in the cities to accommodate the rising population, as in a flat a family of three to six people can live easily. However, in these flats the need of water is high and there is growing pressure on groundwater reserves. Unchecked borings and the consequent excessive pumping in coastal areas can cause saltwater to move inland and upward, leading to contamination of the water supply. Steps to prevent water pollution / Ways to reduce water pollution Highly contaminated water coming out from the industries and their leftover chemical residues, etc are also discharged into the river through drains. Waste generated, due to daily activities of the people living in the houses, are also thrown into the rivers which leaves the river’s water highly polluted. If we have to control water pollution, we will have to find out a way out, and devise laws and strategies. Enforcing Laws to Prevent Water Pollution We should strictly follow all the laws regarding water pollution The legislative provisions, such as the Water Act 1974 and Control of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Act 1986 are there but these have not been implemented effectively and so we will have to get these implemented strictly for effective prevention of water pollution. Water Cess Act 1977 is another important law which aims to reduce and prevent water pollution; however, its effects have been limited. Apart from the laws, creating awareness about the impacts of water pollution is required. Through public awareness and effective implementation of established laws, water pollution can be reduced very effectively. Industries should behave more responsibly Many industries directly flow their waste everywhere which reaches rivers through rain water. To prevent water pollution from industrial wastes, it is required that these wastes should be disposed of properly. Some industries follow this rule, and they either destroy the remaining material, or re-use it safely. In addition to applying these methods, industries are required to bring about changes into their methods of manufacturing to prevent...

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Effects of Water Pollution

Today, water pollution has assumed alarming proportions. It has emerged as one of the most serious environmental threats in India. Both domestic and industrial reasons are contributing to this problem. Excessive use of soap, soda, bleaching powder, detergent or acids at home and chemicals in the industries are primarily responsible for water pollution. Urban sewage and industrial waste flows into the water sources without treatment. Despite all efforts of the Government in cities and towns, only 10 per cent of the total waste water is treated and rest of polluted material directly flows into ponds, rivers and ocean. Due to rapid industrialization, water pollution has already reached dangerous levels. Additionally, increased use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agriculture has also aggravated the situation. The dangers emanating from water pollution have severely affected humans, animals, and plants. In some parts of the world, some species are already on the verge of extinction due to water pollution. Effects of water pollution on plants and animals Increase in toxic substances Due to water pollution, the river Ganga which is regarded by Indians as a sacred river in which they take a holy dip to purify themselves has also become highly polluted. The same is true of Yamuna, Gomati, Chambal as well as Jhelum rivers. If today, the river Hooghly is considered among the most polluted rivers in the world, it is only due to water pollution. Some time ago, the water in the Gomati River in Lucknow had become so polluted and toxic at one time that dead fish floating all through it had become a common scenario. Harming growth of aquatic plants Aquatic plants get severely affected due to water pollution. Due to plethora of moss in the polluted water of the rivers, the sun light fails to reach to the depths of the river which affects the growth of aquatic plants in the lack of photosynthesis.  In the polluted water of the rivers, some aquatic weed as aquatic ferns and water hyacinth start increasing. Similarly, the sewage water getting mixed into the water of the rivers, helps in the increase of fungus, algae, bacteria, etc which start to erupt faster. Suffocating aquatic creatures Increasing pollution in the sea and oceanic areas has become a threat. Polluted water makes the life of aquatic organism miserable. Water pollution reduces the level of oxygen in it. According to a survey in most of the rivers, the amount of oxygen in a litre of water has decreased to 0.1 cubic centimetre only, while this average in 1940 was around 2.5 cubic centimetres. Different varieties of fish are the most affected creatures due to...

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Sources and Causes of Water Pollution

Water pollution means the change in water quality for worse. Water pollution takes place due to decline in chemical, physical and biological properties of water, as a fall-out of mixture of harmful substances in water resources by human activities and natural processes. A variety of such substances get merged into sources of water, leading to water pollution. Polluted water leaves a highly negative impact on man as also on trees-plants, and animals. Polluted water becomes dangerous for consumption by humans, plants and animals. Its use leads to the outbreak of deadly diseases such as cholera, TB, jaundice, Typhoid, paralysis, polio etc. Water pollution is directly related to excessive, unbridled use of water. In cities, there is a huge consumption of water; and through sewers and drains, the resultant waste water is dropped in water sources. This water contains several toxic chemicals and organic materials, making clean water of water sources highly polluted. The substances released from industrial units also lead to water pollution. Additionally, there is some amount of water which is polluted from natural causes too. Broadly, there are two main sources of water pollution: natural and human. Natural causes of water pollution Natural form of water pollution is due to erosion in water, usually caused by rainfall and runoff on a slope. Another reason is mixture of minerals, leaves of plant, humus material (a dark, organic material that forms in soil due to decay of plant and animal matter) and human/animal excreta, etc into water. If there is high amount of toxic elements – arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury, etc – in the soil where water is collected, they tend to get mixed in water. If their quantities are more than optimal concentrations, they become harmful. In addition to the above toxic substances, nickel, barium, beryllium, cobalt, molybdenum, tin, vanadium, etc are naturally present in water in small amounts. Human Causes of Water Pollution As a result of the various human activities, water is polluted by mixing of wastewater and effluents containing waste in it. These sources of pollution are as follows: Domestic effluents Sewage Industrial effluents Agricultural effluents Thermal pollution Oil pollution and Radioactive waste Domestic waste effluents The acts of people bathing, washing clothes, bathing the animals, and cleaning utensils in the ponds and canals, also lead to contamination of water sources. In homes, as a result of various daily chores, domestic waste effluents (sewage) are discharged into drains and eventually into water bodies. Such effluents include rotten fruits and vegetables, kitchen stove ashes produced in homes, different kind of rubbish, rags of clothing, detergent substances, dirty water and other waste material. Today, use of synthetic detergents...

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Water Pollution

Today, we have to face several types of pollution – air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution, etc. But the pollution that affects the largest number of people is water pollution. Scientific and technological progress of the past two hundred years has made the life of the man very comfortable. The scientific revolution has generated massive employment and made millions of people happy. Due to extensive research and manufacturing of new drugs, people are enjoying a longer lifespan. Death rate has gone down significantly. Thus we find that the machine age has given us enough. But if we look around the environment, we know that this progress has also injected poison in our life. One such form of poison is the water pollution spread all around us today. Water pollution is one of the greatest crises facing the country. The largest source of it is the sewage water without treatment, as also water coming from pesticides-ridden fields, and chemical waste producing small and big industries. Things are so serious that there is no water resources in India, which is not contaminated at all. In fact, over 80 percent of the country’s water resources have been polluted up to a large extent. There are polluted water bodies around which population lives in large numbers. Ganga and Yamuna are among India’s most polluted rivers. In fact, a major chunk of the country’s waste water is produced in cities and towns nestled on the banks of rivers. What is Water Pollution? Water pollution refers to the blend of such substances in river, lakes, ponds, underground and sea water that invalidates water for the use by humans, flora and fauna. It affects the whole of the world, as water is the basis of life. Information on Water Pollution In India, the biggest cause of water pollution is urbanization taking place at a fast and unbridled pace. In the past decade, the rate of urbanization has grown so intensely that it has left an indelible impression on water resources of the country. As a result, it has given rise to environmental issues on a long-term basis. These include the lack of water supply, water pollution and problems with regard to its storage. In fact, the disposal and treatment of polluted water is a huge issue today. There are many cities and towns near the rivers, which are facing these issues. In these areas, disposal of sewage water is a big problem. The water of rivers, ponds, canals, wells and lakes is used for domestic as well as industrial purpose. In most cases there is very little treatment of water and this way it...

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Diseases caused by Noise pollution

Noise pollution is very harmful to health. Exposure to excessive sounds such as noisy machinery, loud music, vehicular noise, can adversely affect a person’s hearing. Not only this, the people exposed to noise pollution can be victims of many serious diseases. Loss of concentration, irritability, depression, impotence, even life-threatening diseases like cancer are among the several ill-effects of noise pollution. Noise Pollution – The bane of urban life Noise pollution causes serious problems in big cities. It equally affects rich and poor, educated, illiterate, men and women. Due to increasing number of vehicles, loudspeakers and noise of the machines in industrial institutions, people are becoming vulnerable to mental stress and infection of the respiratory tract. Due to rising vehicular emissions, prevalence of DJ in weddings, high- intensity loudspeakers, the people of all age-groups have become vulnerable to many diseases. Noise pollution can impact various aspects of an individual’s life. Fast sound wave directly influences the heart rate. This decreases the heart rate which multiplies the chances of heart attack. Noise pollution also leads to increase in the blood pressure and other diseases. Diseases caused by Noise Pollution – Medical view According to experts, exposing ears to prolonged & high intensity of noise more than 85 db can lead to permanent hearing loss. Cochlea is the main sense organ of hearing; it has very delicate hair cells which detect sound frequencies. These cells are severely damaged if exposed to prolonged duration of sound intensity of around 85- 125 dB. The main sources of such ear-splitting noise are machinery, vehicles, loud music, or the extreme instances of noise produced by aeroplane, missile or gun firing. If the high intensity exposure is not controlled, the patient may experience hearing loss, continuous ringing or buzzing sensation called tinnitus, headache, irritation, lack of sleep, depression & difficulty in carrying out day-to-day activities. There are a number of hearing aids available these days to help people cope with their hearing deficiencies but in the cases of profound hearing loss surgical intervention are required such as a cochlear implant surgery. Noise Pollution – Cause of Diseases in Children The intensity of the sound over the standard limit increases the likelihood of rupture of eardrums in children. The impact of noise pollution mainly occurs on hearing ability. It decreases hearing capacity, sometimes even resulting in hearing loss. According to a survey, 6 percent of children in urban areas are afflicted with hearing disabilities. According to a recent study, the ear disease ‘Otitis Media’, characterized by a persistent discharge from the middle ear leading to hearing loss, is found in 10 percent of children aged under 10 years in...

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How to Control Noise pollution

How to Control Noise pollution (Ways to reduce noise pollution) The presence of high-intensity undesirable sound or noise in the atmosphere is called “noise pollution” that has extremely harmful effect on the environment. We can take three kinds of measures to control noise pollution: preventive, curative and awareness-building measures. Preventive Measures This means that individuals and commercial entities should not take steps that harm the environment. This requires that people and businesses should comply with all the rules framed by the government relating to pollution control. In fact, they should come forward for the control of noise pollution created by humans. Upgradation in motor engines and other high sound-producing machines, establishing industries away from residential or urban settlements, providing industrial workers with ear-plugs, periodical checking of the silencers of vehicles, ban on band, musical instruments, and loudspeakers are some important ways to reduce noise pollution. Vehicles that cause more noise than the limit should be banned from plying on the main routes in residential areas. Motor engines and other machines that produce noise should be structured in a way that they produce less sound. The noise pollution produced by friction of trains can be reduced by building soundproof rail paths. There are various strategies to curb roadway noise such as erecting sound barriers (noise barrier), limitation of vehicles speed, changes in the road surface, ban on heavy vehicles (heavy duty vehicles), traffic control measures that reduce the braking and acceleration, and change in tyre design for reducing vehicular noise. An important factor in implementing these strategies is the computer model for roadway noise which is capable of defining local climate, weather (meteorology), conducting traffic operations and hypothetical mitigation in noise pollution. The cost of manufacturing can be reduced provided such measures are taken in the planning stage of the project. The exposure of workers to industrial noise has been addressed since 1930 in India. These changes include industrial equipment and shock mounting assemblies and putting up physical barriers at the workplace. Aircraft noise can be reduced to some extent by the design of quieter jet. The initiative for it was taken in the decade of 1970 and 1980 at global level. This strategy has led to limited but significant reduction in urban sound levels. Reconsideration in operations, such as changes in the (flight path) and day time use of runway has demonstrated benefits for residential populations near the airport. In 1970, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sponsored residential retrofit (insulation) programmes achieved success in reducing interior noise of thousands of residential homes across the United States. Remedial measures This means that human beings help in mitigating the damage to...

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