6 Ways to Prevent Water Pollution
Help protect streams in Raleigh
Updated: Jan 18, 2023
The best way to protect streams from pollution is to prevent it at the source! This means keeping litter and other trash out of creeks in Raleigh. It's also important to keep trash out of yards and streets.
If you observe stormwater pollution, call the Stormwater Helpline at 919-996-3940 or send an email to [email protected] .
Litter can flow from yards and streets to nearby drains and streams when it rains. Chemicals and other pollutants negatively impact the environment and wildlife in waterways.
Ways to Prevent Water Pollution
- Pick up litter and throw it away in a garbage can.
- Blow or sweep fertilizer back onto the grass if it gets onto paved areas. Don't put fertilizer on the grass right before it rains. The chemicals will wash into storm drains and waterways.
- Mulch or compost grass or yard waste . Or, leave it in your yard if you can't compost. Don't blow leaves into the street. This clogs and damages storm drains.
- Wash your car or outdoor equipment where it can flow to a gravel or grassy area instead of a street.
- Don't pour your motor oil down the storm drain. Take it to the nearest auto parts store. It's free!
- Never clean up a spill by hosing it into a storm drain. Place kitty litter, sand, or another absorbent on the spill. Once the liquid becomes solid - sweep it up and throw it in a garbage can.
Get involved - become a stormwater volunteer!
How We Monitor Streams
Zachary Poole Illicit Discharge Coordinator 919-996-3940
15 Proven Ways We Can Reduce Water Pollution
Everyone understands that clean water is vitally important. Yet, many things we do can contribute to water pollution in different ways. This post describes some easy and inexpensive ways to protect water by doing certain things at home and in the community.
Dispose of Toxic Chemicals Properly:
Household solvents, pesticides, and cleaners might not seem that bad. But, bleach, paint, paint thinner, ammonia, and many chemicals are becoming a serious problem. If you combine millions of people every month dumping toxic chemicals down the drain or flushing them down the toilet, the effects add up. This is why proper disposal is important.
Many household chemicals can be recycled. Your community may have a recycling center that can take the old paint, used motor oil, and other chemicals and recycle them. Community collection centers and drop-off sites also exist in some areas. Your community may even have a hazardous waste collection day where those toxic old chemicals can be dropped off for safe disposal.
Shop with Water Pollution in Mind:
You can avoid issues with household chemicals and pesticides by not buying products that contain persistent and dangerous chemicals in the first place. Many companies now sell non-toxic cleaners and biodegradable cleaners and pesticides. Spending a little extra money on those products automatically cuts down on water pollution.
Do Not Pour Fat and Grease Down the Drain:
Grease, fat, and used cooking oil should be disposed of in the trash or kept in a “fat jar” for disposal with other solid waste. Your pipes might clog and cause sewer pipes to clog and back up into yards and basements. The waste also contaminates local bodies of water.
Use Phosphate-Free Detergent and Dish Cleaner:
You can further cut down on water pollution by using just enough of these cleaners to do the job. Phosphates aren’t the only harmful chemicals in cleaners. Phosphates lead to algae blooms and kill fish and other aquatic animals by reducing the oxygen in the water.
Check Your Sump Pump or Cellar Drain:
Sometimes these devices drain into the town’s sanitary sewer pipes. This connection dumps biological wastes, heavy metals, cleaning chemicals and more into the system. If you have a sump pump or cellar drain and aren’t sure where they drain to, you should be able to find out by checking with the city’s pollution control department.
Dispose of Medical Waste Properly:
Never flush medicines down the toilet, and never dump them in the nearest pond or creek. The drugs tend to accumulate in the water, and in fish and other wildlife. Hormones and other compounds end up causing a variety of health problems in fish and birds and contaminate drinking water that people and livestock use.
Eat More Organic Food:
While chemicals can be used on organic foods, they tend to be produced with few synthetic chemicals. Eating organic reduces the amount of chemical pollution that ends up in the water. The food we choose to eat has a huge impact on environmental quality, between the chemicals used to grow food, the fuel used to transport the crops, and the fuel used to power farm equipment on industrial farms.
Report Water Polluters:
Many cases of illegal waste disposal and other forms of water pollution go unreported and often aren’t cleaned up. Report people who pour oil in storm drains, toss bags of trash in a stream, and so on.
Support Environmental Charities:
No matter where you live in the country, there are going to be charities working on watershed protection, water pollution cleanup, and similar causes. Find an organization that’s active in your area and make a donation every year. Your support may even lead to expanded anti-pollution work.
Cut Down on Meat Consumption:
Raising animals for meat takes lots of water for the grains and other foods they need, as well as to keep them alive. Further, the antibiotics and solid waste both tend to end up in groundwater and rivers.
Try to Avoid Plastic Containers:
Plastic shopping bags and plastic rings from six-packs of beverages cause inordinate problems in the nations lakes and seas. Plastic bottles can last for decades in the water. Buy some reusable cloth or plastic grocery bags instead. They can be had for as little as $1 each, so there is a minimal cost involved. Use reusable, insulated containers to hold drinks and make your own filtered water at home.
Keep Your Vehicles from Leaking:
Oil and other fluids leak from motor vehicles and end up in the local water table, or running off into creeks and streams. This runoff problem is easy to treat; just be diligent about maintaining and repairing your vehicles. Leaky seals, hoses, and gaskets tend to cause expensive mechanical problems anyway, so replacing the worn parts can save you money.
Cut Down on the Chemicals:
Homeowners like to keep the yard looking green and healthy. This desire for a green lawn produces water pollution in two ways: Fertilizers and pesticides inevitably run off the shrubs and lawns and into the water. Select landscaping that is adapted to the climate. No matter where you live, there are bound to be attractive plants that can thrive with minimal help from added chemicals. This makes the plants cheaper to care for. As a bonus, you will waste less water keeping those plants alive.
Plant Some Trees:
Trees reduce erosion that washes pollution into the water and reduces erosion. You can also volunteer your time in a local tree-planting effort. If you own land along a river or pond, plant trees, bushes, or grass along the bank.
Help Clean Up Beaches and Rivers:
Supporting charities devoted to protecting the water is important because they can do work that is beyond the power of the average homeowner. If you choose not to donate money, or really can’t afford it, volunteer to help plant trees or clean up the local river or help collect leftover chemicals from local residents. Some environmental groups might have collection days where they need volunteer labor.
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Ten Things You Can Do To Reduce Water Pollution
- DO NOT pour fat from cooking or any other type of fat, oil, or grease down the sink. Keep a “fat jar” under the sink to collect the fat and discard in the solid waste when full.
- DO NOT dispose of household chemicals or cleaning agents down the sink or toilet. Simsbury has a Hazardous Waste Collection day usually from 8:00am to 1:00pm at Henry James School. Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority lists all collection dates.
- DO NOT flush pills, liquid or powder medications or drugs down the toilet. For recommendations on proper disposal for all types of medical wastes, visit the CT DEP publication here .
- Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket. Most tissues, wrappers, dust cloths, and other paper goods should be properly discarded in a wastebasket. The fiber reinforced cleaning products that have become popular should never be discarded in the toilet.
- Avoid using a garbage disposal. Keep solid wastes solid. Make a compost pile from vegetable scraps.
- Install a water efficient toilet. In the meantime, put a brick or 1/2 gal container in the standard toilet tank to reduce water use per flush.
- Run the dishwasher or clothes washer only when you have a full load. This conserves electricity and water.
- Use the minimum amount of detergent and/or bleach when you are washing clothes or dishes. Use only phosphate free soaps and detergents.
- Minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers. DO NOT dispose of these chemicals, motor oil, or other automotive fluids into the sanitary sewer or storm sewer systems. Both of them end at the river.
- If your home has a sump pump or cellar drain, make certain it does not drain into the sanitary sewer system. If you are unsure, please call Simsbury Water Pollution Control at (860) 658-1380 and we can assist in determining the discharge point.
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How to Reduce Water Pollution
Last Updated: August 24, 2022 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Kathryn Kellogg . Kathryn Kellogg is the founder of goingzerowaste.com, a lifestyle website dedicated to breaking eco-friendly living down into a simple step-by-step process with lots of positivity and love. She's the author of 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste and spokesperson for plastic-free living for National Geographic. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 27 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 940,500 times.
Water is one of the world's most important resources, and we can all do our part to stop it from getting polluted. Simple changes like using natural cleaning products instead of toxic ones in your home and planting more trees and flowers in your yard can make an important impact. On a larger scale, consider speaking up against industries that dump waste into local streams, rivers, and beach fronts to reduce water pollution in your community. Every action you take makes a difference.
Use fewer chemicals to clean your home.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of cleaning products (as well as a variety of other products) that are considered "green," meaning they won't pollute the water supply. See epa.gov/greenerproducts.  X Trustworthy Source United States Environmental Protection Agency Independent U.S. government agency responsible for promoting safe environmental practices Go to source
- Common household supplies like white vinegar and baking soda can be used for everything from washing windows to scrubbing bathroom tiles, and they're completely non-toxic.
Dispose of waste properly.
- Cleaning solvents
- Pool chemicals
Don't flush medication.
Don't flush trash.
- You can also help by using cloth diapers, recycled toilet paper and biodegradable tampons, which reduces the number of items that end up in the landfill.
Conserve as much water as possible.
- Take showers instead of baths, since baths require more water.
- Turn off your faucets when you aren't using water, such as when you're brushing your teeth.
- Don't overwater your lawn. Make sure lawn sprinklers are turned off when it rains.
- Water your garden before the sun comes up or after it sets to reduce evaporation, which leads to water waste.  X Trustworthy Source National Resources Defence Council Multinational environmental advocacy group focused on grassroots activism and legislative action Go to source
Avoid using plastic.
Don't use pesticides and herbicides.
- Look into organic gardening practices to find creative ways to deal with garden pests. For example, many pests can be dealt with using a simple solution of dish soap and water.
- Planting native species can also help, since native species have developed a resistance to the pests and weeds in the area. Species native to other lands are more susceptible to disease as well.
Replace concrete with ground cover
Prevent soil erosion from occurring .
Contain and compost yard waste.
- Your compost should be contained in a bin or barrel to prevent the materials from being washed away. Some municipalities provide these for free or at low cost.
- Use a mulching mower instead of bagging grass clippings. Mulching mowers add a natural layer of compost to your lawn and you don't have to deal with disposal of grass clippings.
- Dispose of yard waste and grass clippings properly. If you don't compost or if you have yard waste that you can't compost, contact your local waste management or environmental protection agency to determine how to dispose them.
Keep your car in good repair.
- In addition, don't forget to dispose of motor oil properly instead of washing it down the drain.
Get involved at school and work.
- For example, you could recommend that your office or school switch to eco-friendly cleaning supplies, and make suggestions as to which ones work well.
- You could also put up signs reminding people to conserve water in the bathroom and kitchen areas. This could include reminders never to leave a sink running longer than necessary and encouraging the men or boys to use urinals rather than toilet stalls.
Help clean up litter in water-filled areas.
- If you can't find a local group working to reduce water pollution in your area, you might be just the person to start one! Consider hosting a cleanup day. Set a date, publicize the event, and have a plan in place for collecting and disposing of the trash.
Speak up about water issues that affect your community.
- Learn about local and national laws against water pollution and join up with groups working to protect water in your area.  X Research source
- Voting for political candidates who strive to protect waterways is a great way to do your part to reduce pollution.
- If you are not sure whether something is hazardous, check with your local waste management or environmental protection department, or do some research online. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
- Think about the big picture. You may think that a little oil leak on your car isn't a big deal. However, the oil from thousands or millions of cars with minor oil leaks adds up quickly and soon you're looking at a cumulative oil spill far worse than any oil tanker crash. You can't fix all the oil leaks in the world, but you can fix yours. Be part of the solution. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 5 Not Helpful 1
- In some areas, agricultural runoff may be a bigger pollution problem than urban runoff. If you're involved in agriculture, contact your local extension service or environmental protection agency to find out more about ways you can reduce your environmental impact. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://epa.gov/greenerproducts/
- ↑ http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/gsteps.asp
- ↑ Kathryn Kellogg. Environmentalist. Expert Interview. 28 June 2019.
- ↑ http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/?ar_a=1
- ↑ http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/How_to_Stop_Water_Pollution
- ↑ http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/w/water_pollution/index.html
- ↑ http://water.epa.gov/aboutow/owow/laws.cfm
About This Article
To reduce water pollution, use natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda in place of toxic chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Additionally, avoid using pesticides and herbicides in order to prevent groundwater contamination. If you need to dispose of old medications, look into local “take back” programs instead of flushing them down the toilet, where they can end up back in the drinking water. Additionally, avoid flushing non-biodegradable items like diapers and wet wipes, since they can harm fish and other wildlife when they end up in lakes and rivers. For more advice, including how to reduce water pollution by using pesticide and herbicide alternatives, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How Can You Help Protect Source Water?
Communities, citizen groups, and individuals can take an active role in protecting their drinking water sources from contamination. The resources below provide information about source water protection and steps you can take at the local level to protect your drinking water.
On this page:
Learn About Source Water Protection
Take everyday actions, volunteer in your community.
- Participate in Source Water Planning at the Community Level
Learn About Your Drinking Water Source
Your drinking water utility includes information about the drinking water source in their annual drinking water quality report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) . A CCR also tells you how to get a copy of the source water assessment for your drinking water source. Find your local CCR online .
Learn more about source water assessments , or ask your drinking water provider if there are any source water protection projects or groups you can support.
Use and Dispose of Harmful Materials Properly
Don't pour hazardous waste down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers. This could contaminate the soil, groundwater, or nearby surface water.
A number of products used at home contain hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as:
- Leftover paints or paint cans
- Flea collars
- Household cleaners
- A number of medicines
EPA's Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program has more advice on how to safely manage and reduce the use of these materials.
Think Twice about Lawn and Garden Chemicals
Limit the use of pesticides or fertilizers, and always follow the label directions. Many fertilizers and pesticides contain harmful chemicals which can travel through the soil and contaminate groundwater or run off in stormwater to rivers, streams, and lakes. EPA evaluates pesticides to ensure that when they are used according to label directions they will not harm people, non-target species or the environment.
Properly Maintain Your Septic System
Groundwater can be contaminated by poorly or untreated household wastewater, which poses dangers to drinking water and to the environment. Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals to local aquifers and waterways. The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year.
Find more information on the SepticSmart Homeowners webpage .
Dispose of Your Medications Properly
In homes that use septic tanks, prescription and over-the-counter drugs flushed down the toilet can leach into the ground and seep into groundwater. In cities and towns where residences are connected to wastewater treatment plants, prescription and over-the-counter drugs poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet can pass through the treatment system and enter rivers and lakes. These water sources may flow downstream to community drinking water supplies. Water treatment plants are generally not equipped to routinely remove medicines.
EPA encourages the public to take advantage of pharmaceutical take-back collection programs that accept prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as these programs offer a safe and environmentally-conscious way to dispose of unwanted medicines.
Learn more about safe ways to collect and dispose of unwanted medicines .
Find or Start a Group
Find a watershed or wellhead protection organization or a source water collaborative in your community and volunteer to help. If there are no active groups, consider starting one. Use the Source Water Collaborative's How to Collaborate Toolkit to get started.
Join in a Beach, Stream, or Wetland Cleanup
You can make new friends while you help protect source water.
Prepare a Presentation about Your Watershed for a School or Civic Organization
Discuss water quality threats, including the dangers of polluted runoff and ecosystem loss. In your presentation, highlight actions people can take to protect water quality, such as limiting fertilizer use and properly maintaining their septic systems.
Organize a Storm Drain Stenciling Project
Stencil a message next to the street drain. This reminds people not to dump waste into a street drain, which leads to local water sources such as rivers. Use simple images and words when stenciling to help make the connection, such as:
- Ocean "Protect Your Water" logo with the image of a glass and faucet
You can also use stencils to produce and distribute flyers to your neighbors. Remind residents that storm drains dump directly into their local water source.
Put Up Signs
Post signs along the border of your source water protection area to notify people that any pollution in that area can affect the quality of local drinking water.
Participate in Source Water Protection at the Community Level
Identify community partners.
Water is a shared resource. You can work within your community, watershed, or neighborhood to protect your drinking water.
Many partners are involved in implementing source water protection through watershed management strategies involving:
- Assessing the potential sources of contamination in the protection area;
- Prioritizing efforts to reduce potential of impacts; and
- Implementing management measures.
Use Your Assessment to Identify and Prioritize Needed Actions
States have completed the first step of assessing the protection area for all public water systems. Each assessment includes a delineation, a contaminant inventory, and susceptibility determination. You may find that the assessment in your local area is outdated.
Visit the assessment page to learn how it can be updated.
Work with Your Water Utility
Water utilities provide the public with information, safety monitoring, and emergency response. They have a critical role to play in promoting source water protection, including:
- Advocating for source water protection;
- Providing annual drinking water quality reports (i.e., consumer confidence reports );
- Creating opportunities for public participation (such as water board meetings and public forums);
- Educating consumers;
- Identifying potential sources of contamination;
- Identifying and organizing other stakeholders; and
- Working directly with owners and managers of potential sources of pollution.
- Source Water Protection Home
- How You Can Help Protect Source Water
- Common Considerations
- Assess, Plan, and Protect Source Water
- Drinking Water Mapping Application to Protect Source Waters (DWMAPS)
- Preparing for Emergencies
- Resources for Source Water Protection
- Source Water Protection Funding
- Regional Source Water Coordinators
Topics we focus on
Solutions to water pollution
How to improve water quality.
Water pollution can take various forms. Discover its main causes and effects, but also technological solutions and how you can contribute to solve it.
Water pollution is one the main environmental issues that we are facing, as more than 70% of the Earth’s surface is water-covered.
What causes water pollution? What are its effects? And what are the possible solutions to prevent water pollution?
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What is water pollution?
Water pollution can be defined as the contamination of a stream, river, lake, ocean or any other stretch of water, depleting water quality and making it toxic for the environment and humans.
There are two types of water pollution:
- 1. Organic pollution due to microorganisms - bacteria and viruses - present in the water, generated by excrement, animal and vegetable waste
- 2. Chemical pollution generated by the nitrates and phosphates of pesticides, human and animal drugs, household products, heavy metals, acids and hydrocarbons used in industries
Water pollution causes
What are the sources of water pollution ? Unsurprisingly, human activity is primarily responsible for water pollution, even if natural phenomenon - such as landslides and floods - can also contribute to degrade the water quality.
Sewage and wastewater
Inadequate sewage collection and treatment are sources of water pollution. According to the United Nations, more than 80% of the worldwide wastewater goes back in the environment without being treated or reused.
Urbanization and deforestation
Even though it does not have a direct impact on water quality, urbanization and deforestation have a lot of indirect effects. For instance, cutting down trees and concreting over large areas generates an acceleration of flows which does not give enough time for water to infiltrate and be purified by the ground.
Agriculture has an impact on water pollution due to the use of chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or insecticides running off in the water, as well as livestock excrement, manure and methane (greenhouse effect). Regarding aquaculture, pollution is directly in the water, as excess food and fertilizers are causing dystrophication.
Industries produce a lot of waste containing toxic chemicals and pollutants. A huge amount of the industrial waste is drained in the fresh water which then flows into canals, rivers and eventually in the sea. Another source of water pollution is the burning of fossil fuels, causing air pollution like acid rain which then flows to streams, lakes, and other stretches of water.
Everyday, garbage such as plastic, paper, aluminum, food, glass, or rubber are deposited into the sea. These items take weeks to hundreds of years to decompose, and thus they are a major cause for water pollution.
Generated - among others - by power plants and uranium mining, radioactive waste can linger in the environment for thousands of years. When these substances are released accidentally or disposed improperly, they threaten groundwater, surface water, as well as marine resources.
Water pollution effects
On the environment
Water pollution truly harms biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems. The toxic chemicals can change the color of water and increase the amount of minerals - also known as eutrophication - which has a bad impact on life in water. Thermal pollution, defined by a rise in the temperature of water bodies, contributes to global warming and causes serious hazard to water organisms.
On human health
Water pollution has very negative effects on public health. A lot of diseases result from drinking or being in contact with contaminated water, such as diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, dysentery or skin infections. In zones where there is no available drinking water, the main risk is dehydration obviously.
Water pollution prevention
How to solve water pollution? How can water pollution be prevented? Here’s a list of water pollution solutions:
1. Wastewater treatment
Wastewater treatment consists of removing pollutants from wastewater through a physical, chemical or biological process. The more efficient these processes are, the cleaner the water becomes.
2. Green agriculture
Globally, agriculture accounts for 70% of water resources, so it is essential to have climate-friendly crops, efficient irrigation that reduces the need for water and energy-efficient food production. Green agriculture is also crucial to limit the chemicals that enter the water.
3. Stormwater management
Stormwater management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater or melted snow into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is important to avoid pollutants from contaminating the water and helps to use water more efficiently.
4. Air pollution prevention
Air pollution has a direct impact on water contamination as 25% of human induced CO2 emissions are absorbed by oceans. This pollution causes a rapid acidification of our oceans, and threatens marine life and corals. Preventing air pollution is the best way to prevent this from happening.
5. Plastic waste reduction
80% of plastic in our oceans is from land sources. In order to reduce the amount of plastic entering our ocean, we need to both reduce our use of plastic globally, and to improve plastic waste management.
6. Water conservation
Without water conservation, we won’t go very far. It is central in making sure the world has better access to clean water. It means being aware that water is a scarce resource , taking care of it accordingly, and managing it responsibly.
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Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection
What we can all do to reduce groundwater pollution, why groundwater is important.
Groundwater has been called the great hidden resource. It conjures up images of vast underground rivers or lakes, pure and pristine, flowing from distant places. In fact, groundwater is quite different from that. It’s more like the water within a saturated sponge, moving slowly through the earth’s pores and cracks and it is replenished locally. Most available fresh water is groundwater. Groundwater is an important source for our drinking water and stream flow. Although most of our groundwater supplies are clean, they are, due to human neglect and carelessness, vulnerable and threatened.
Some facts and fictions about ground water:
What can I do to reduce pollution?
Groundwater contamination can last for years and be difficult and expensive to clean up. Pollution prevention is the key. We urge you to look at the ways you can help.
- examine on-site wells and surrounding land areas; test wells as often as pollution risk demands
- plug and cover waste dumpsters
- reduce or substitute use of chemicals
S torm water:
- use deicing salt and pesticides sparingly
Other good management practices:
- devise an emergency response plan
- ensure that town facilities practice good pollution prevention
For additional information, contact
Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection 79 Elm Street Hartford, CT 06106-5127 Telephone: 860-424-3020
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05/26/2020 | Environmental | 8 MINUTE READ
9 Effective Water Pollution Solutions to Protect Our Environment
While there are many things that need to be done in order to protect the environment, one highly important method of maintaining the health of the environment is to reduce water pollution , of which there are many effective solutions that can assist with this goal. Water pollution results from harmful substances contaminating any body of water. These substances typically include microorganisms and chemicals like oil. When pollution gets into a body of water, it will cause the water quality to worsen and eventually become toxic to humans and the surrounding environment.
The environmental effects of water pollution primarily involve the damage that pollution does to the surrounding ecosystem. Many of the organisms that depend on a supply of relatively healthy water will die. When bodies of water become too heavily polluted, it’s common for crabs, dolphins, seagulls, and fish to wash up ashore. Pollution is also damaging to the economy since it increases the costs of treating the water, leads to losses in tourism, lowers local real estate values, and damages commercial fishing.
In order to effectively tackle water pollution, it’s important to understand what causes this pollution to occur in the first place. The many causes of water pollution include everything from incorrect sewage disposal to fast urban development. While it will take a substantial amount of effort to lessen water pollution, there are many effective solutions that can help with the reduction of pollution in all bodies of water. This article will take a look at some of the more notable solutions, which include:
- Wastewater treatment
- Plastic waste reduction
- Water conservation
- Install a water-efficient toilet in your home
- Septic tanks
- Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket
- Stormwater management
- Green agriculture
1. Wastewater Treatment
Likely the most effective way to reduce water pollution is by treating some of the water before it’s reintroduced into the waterways. This is a highly effective solution because wastewater treatment facilities are able to remove nearly all pollutants in wastewater via a chemical, physical, or biological process . Sewage will be taken through several chambers of the facility to slowly reduce its toxicity levels.
In order for wastewater treatment facilities to work exactly as intended, it’s important that the equipment remains in great condition. There are a range of water treatment sensors that can be used to be certain that the contaminants are being properly removed from the water before the water is released back into the environment. These sensors include pH sensors , conductivity sensors , and oxidation reduction potential sensors .
2. Plastic Waste Reduction
Plastics are commonly washed into the ocean and other bodies of water, which only serves to degrade the quality of the water. It’s believed that around 9-12 million tons of plastic reach the ocean every year, which is a number that needs to be reduced substantially to make sure that the quality of ocean water doesn’t worsen even more.
Along with water bottles, plastic is used in a myriad of different items that people use on an everyday basis, which include everything from clothes to various items around the home. To help reduce the amount of plastic waste that gets cycled into the environment, it’s recommended that you avoid using plastics whenever possible. Seek alternatives for plastic bottles, plastic utensils, and straws. Whenever you use plastic, make sure that you recycle .
3. Water Conservation
If you want to do your part to keep water clean and pure in a manner that will protect the environment, it’s important that you focus on water conservation when possible. There are many ways that you can conserve water on a daily basis. Whenever you’re shaving or brushing your teeth, it’s recommended that you keep the water turned off.
If you take a shower every day, opt for shorter showers that don’t go longer than you require. You could also decide to take a bath, which uses much less water. In the event that your landscape is outfitted with a garden, try to use only the amount of water that your plants require. Water is a scarce resource, which is why it’s important that you try to lessen your water usage when you can.
4. Install a Water-Efficient Toilet in Your Home
5. Septic Tanks
Septic tanks are useful pieces of equipment that are able to treat sewage by efficiently separating the liquids from the solids. These tanks will use various biological processes to properly degrade the solid substances before the liquids flow directly into a land drainage system. Septic tanks limit water pollution by effectively getting rid of the pollution that is already in the water.
6. Avoid Using the Toilet as a Wastebasket
If you want to avoid adding to water pollution, it’s recommended that you avoid using your toilet as a wastebasket. Dust cloths, wrappers, and the majority of the tissues that you use should be placed directly into a wastebasket as opposed to a toilet. These items heighten the possibility that sewage lines will become blocked up and that the sewage will be difficult to properly clean when taken through a wastewater treatment facility or septic tank. Aside from toilet paper, you should avoid placing items in your toilet that would typically be reserved for the wastebasket.
7. Stormwater Management
Another effective solution for protecting the environment and reducing the amount of water pollution is to manage stormwater when possible. When stormwater flows along sidewalks, streets, and lawns, it picks up harmful pollutants that are then pushed into storm drains, streams, and rivers. Stormwater can be treated and managed through a variety of different processes, which include everything from sand filtration and electrocoagulation to reverse osmosis and advanced oxidation .
It’s important to manage stormwater and the pollution within it because this water will eventually reach rivers, streams, and oceans, which can worsen the pollution in these bodies of water. Managing stormwater should help to lessen this issue and reduce the amount of pollution that reaches the ocean.
8. Green Agriculture
The agricultural sector uses upwards of 70 percent of the surface water supplies around the earth for everything from livestock production to farming. Unfortunately, agriculture is the primary cause of water pollution . Whenever it rains, the pesticides and fertilizes wash away with the stormwater, which takes viruses and bacteria into the waterways. It’s possible, however, for agriculture to be more friendly to the environment.
To foster the use of green agriculture, consider planting trees and other plants nearby bodies of water, which will keep chemicals from being washed away when it rains. You should also avoid using pesticides that contain harmful chemicals.
Denitrification is a simple ecological process that’s designed to convert nitrates directly into nitrogen gas , which helps to prevent nitrate from being taken into the soil and contaminating the groundwater. When too much nitrate reaches groundwater, the nitrogen content of the water is far too high, which causes algae and phytoplankton to grow at an accelerated rate.
Effects of Water Pollution on Human Health and the Environment
Water pollution is damaging to both human health and the environment. When looking specifically at human health , water pollution is known to:
- Cause millions of deaths every year
- Increase the possibility of cancer
- Cause vascular diseases and liver damage
- Damage the spinal cord
The harmful environmental effects of water pollution include:
- Accumulation of heavy metals is toxic to shellfish and other species of fish
- Organic matter reduces the amount of oxygen in the water
- Suspended particles lessen the amount of sunlight that penetrates the water, which creates issues with photosynthesis
It’s important to prevent water pollution whenever you can because of how harmful this pollution is to human health and the environment alike. If you want to reduce your risk of suffering from a wide range of health conditions , it’s important that you always have access to clean and pure water. As for the environment, clean water is absolutely essential to make sure that the entire ocean ecosystem remains relatively healthy.
To start mitigating water pollution today, some beginning steps you can take include conserving water, using less plastics, and making sure that you don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket . By taking these steps, you’ll be doing your part to protect the environment.
Looking for more great insights into water quality and analysis? Subscribe to Sensorex Insights , our weekly water industry blog.
Posted by Sensorex on May 26, 2020
Sensorex is a global leader in the design and manufacture of quality sensors for water quality and process applications. The company offers more than 2000 sensor packages for pH, ORP, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, free chlorine, chlorine dioxide, UV transmittance and other specialty measurements, as well as a full line of sensor accessories and transmitters. Its expert technical support engineers solve analytical sensor challenges with custom designs and off the shelf products.
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Pick up litter and throw it away in a garbage can. · Blow or sweep fertilizer back onto the grass if it gets onto paved areas. · Mulch or compost
Dispose of Toxic Chemicals Properly: · Shop with Water Pollution in Mind: · Do Not Pour Fat and Grease Down the Drain: · Use Phosphate-Free
DO NOT pour fat from cooking or any other type of fat, oil, or grease down the sink. · DO NOT dispose of household chemicals or cleaning agents down the sink or
Steps · Use fewer chemicals to clean your home. · Dispose of waste properly. · Don't flush medication. · Don't flush trash. · Conserve as much water as possible.
In the Kitchen or Laundry · Compost your food scraps rather than using a garbage disposal in your sink. · Keep a gallon of drinking water in the
Don't pour hazardous waste down the drain, on the ground, or into storm sewers. This could contaminate the soil, groundwater, or nearby surface water. A number
23. Plant Fauna at Lakes or Rivers ... If you live in an area where a lake or river is present, you might want to think about planting some local fauna near the
Wastewater treatment consists of removing pollutants from wastewater through a physical, chemical or biological process. The more efficient these processes are
At home · properly dispose of all waste; don't dump chemicals down drains or on the ground · test underground fuel oil tanks for leaks; if possible, replace them
Wastewater treatment; Plastic waste reduction; Water conservation; Install a water-efficient toilet in your home; Septic tanks; Avoid using the