6 Factors that are Contributing to Increased Water Pollution

Because of the continuing growth of the global population, global warming has rapidly increased. The growing number of people has also negatively contributed to water pollution. The declining quality of water has impacted the environment by having negative effects on ecosystems, people, and biodiversity. While there are many factors that contribute to water pollution, this article only looks at six of them.

What is Water Pollution?

The water bodies that get polluted include lakes, rivers, oceans, and even groundwater. Pollution is caused by harmful chemicals and substances introduced by domestic activities, agricultural processes, and industrial systems. Polluted water has negative effects on people’s health, the environment, and even the economy. Water that has been polluted isn’t drinkable and can contain waterborne diseases like cholera and dysentery that cause severe illness and can even lead to death. Polluted water can cause disruptions in the environment by impacting animal and plant biodiversity. Economically polluted water can impact commercial industries like fishing, recreation, and tourism. When drinking water has been polluted, it costs a lot more to have it properly treated and made safe for consumption and use. 

There are several things that can lead to water being polluted. Water can be polluted in two main ways. Point sources are typically pipes or channels used to discharge waste from industrial or sewage systems. These sources can be controlled easier by collecting and leading waste to areas where it can be treated and processed in a better way. Dispersed sources are large unconfined areas from where pollutants enter water sources, like agricultural runoff. This type of source is very difficult to control due to the broad scale of pollution sources. There are several information sources that you can access, and go to the full report on water pollution.

Six Causes of Water Pollution 

1. Domestic Sewage

This is also called Sanitary Sewage. When wastewater contains urine, faeces, or laundry waste, it is considered sewage. Domestic sewage means that the waste originates in homes, hotels, schools, shopping centres, and restaurants. This includes anywhere with toilets, kitchens, and bathrooms. This means that domestic sewage always comes in large amounts. Sewage is carried away from homes through sewage pipes to treatment plants, from where the waste gets disposed into the ocean. Properly treated sewage is biodegradable and breaks down into non harmful particles. The proper disposal of sewage is a big problem, leading to the dumping of raw sewage into water sources. This contaminates the environment and causes the spread of waterborne diseases. These illnesses are spread by germs that can have detrimental effects on public health. Some domestic sewage also contains poisonous substances that can kill wildlife in rivers and other water sources. Make sure that you’re always informed on how to properly dispose of domestic waste. Flooding can also lead to sewage ending up in freshwater sources. 

2. Solid Waste

This is any kind of solid material produced by human activities that are being discarded and considered trash. It includes garbage and rubbish like plastic, glass, paper, metal, concrete, electronic devices, and organic materials like food. Any solid waste produced by individuals, households, commercial properties, institutions, and industrial activities. When solid waste isn’t properly thrown away, it ends up in water sources. Sometimes people intentionally throw solid waste into the water. Flooding can also carry solid waste into water sources. Solid waste in freshwater sources can eventually make its way to the ocean. Not only is this an eyesore, but also detrimental to the environment and wildlife. Some kinds of solid waste produce harmful chemicals when they break down, which can poison the water. 

3. Toxic Waste

Toxins can be found in garbage items from houses, offices, and commercial systems. Items producing toxic waste when manufactured or thrown out include batteries, pesticides, computers, and cell phones. It is also produced by industrial, biological, and chemical processes. This kind of waste is divided into three overall categories, namely chemical, radioactive, and medical. Flawed water infrastructure can cause leaks of toxic waste into water sources. Hazardous waste sites can also improperly dispose of toxic waste by dumping it into water bodies. Toxic waste contaminates drinking water while also killing wildlife and fish. It also has a negative effect on plant life. It also causes health problems to people, like cancer, miscarriages, birth defects, neurological disorders, heart defects, and many other ailments.

4. Sediment

The solid material that moves from one place to another by means of erosion or construction activities is called sediment. It can be microscopically small or as big as a boulder. Sediment also includes organic materials like plant and animal remains. Erosion processes that transfer sediment to bodies of water include wind, water, and even ice. If you look at lake bottoms, you will find soil, clay, silt, and sand. Sediment can downgrade the quality of drinking water, but it also impacts the surrounding wildlife and plants. It can prevent sunlight from entering the water when in suspension, which interferes with the photosynthesis processes of plants. This takes oxygen out of the water and smothers organisms living in the water. This entire process can prevent fish, insects, and frogs from reproducing. 

5. Thermal Pollution

Many industrial companies use water in cooling systems and then dump this water into water sources. This causes a drastic and uncontrolled change in the temperature of the water. The organisms that live in the water need the water to be at a certain temperature for them to survive. When the water temperature suddenly changes, it can kill these organisms, which include plants and animals as well. It also has a negative effect on the oxygen levels in the water. The water source’s ecosystem gets thrown out of balance by changing the water chemistry. This not only harms the animals and plants but can also kill them. 

6. Oil Pollution

This is when oil is spilled into the water by pipelines, storage facilities, refineries, and drilling rigs. When oil tankers and barges are involved in accidents, they also spill oil into the water. This is usually due to poor infrastructure and or human error. Animal and plant habitats can be destroyed, migration patterns altered, and animal life cycles disrupted. It can also completely kill plants and animals. Not only does this have a negative effect on the environment, but also on resources and economies. Fishing resources are diminished, which affects income and job availability. 


This article looked at six different factors that are contributing to increased water pollution. An explanation was given for water pollution. Six contributing factors were given and described, along with the negative effects that they have. They included domestic sewage, solid waste, toxic waste, sediment, thermal pollution, and oil pollution.  Fortunately, each of these factors has solutions that can be implemented. Visit http://beyondthemagazine.com/ for ways to combat water pollution.

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