Water pollution has been a growing concern for decades. While there have been improvements in drinking water quality, several states continue to struggle with this problem. In this post, we’ll explore the current state of water pollution in the United States and what needs to be done to ensure safe drinking water is available to everyone.
An Immense Problem
Water contamination is a serious issue. Furthermore, it’s not only an issue in the US, but the global water contamination problem impacts everyone.
Water pollution has been an issue in the United States for many years and remains a concern today. Many cities have high water pollution levels, and other areas deal with their unique problems. Even some states struggle to provide residents with safe drinking water due to poor management practices. In contrast, others have no choice but to use drinking supplies from contaminated sources. These are polluted with heavy metals or industrial waste byproducts such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl).
In addition, there are counties all over America where citizens must rely on wells for their daily needs. No municipal systems are nearby due to deep-rooted issues like drought conditions affecting crops. They would generally help filter out contaminants before reaching people’s home taps.
Drinking water contamination is a severe problem that affects people around the world. Water pollution is an environmental and public health concern with powerful implications for human health and social development.
Numerous international laws, treaties, and conventions recognize water rights as a fundamental human right. The United Nations General Assembly resolution 64/292 (2010) contains the first-ever legally binding instrument on safe drinking water. All countries must provide their citizens with safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. UNICEF defines safe drinking water as “water which is free from pathogenic organisms, chemical substances or radiological hazards that could adversely affect human health.”
The Environmental Impact
It’s important to understand that water pollution doesn’t affect only the water itself. The environmental impact of water pollution is immense, and it spreads beyond the United States and its borders.
A significant aspect of this involves wetlands habitats for many animals and plants essential for biodiversity. Unfortunately, many species become extinct or endangered when wetlands are destroyed by human activity like agriculture or development.
In addition to harming wildlife habitats, water pollution has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. For example, chemicals released into lakes cause fish tumors. These chemicals then end up in humans who eat the contaminated fish contributing directly to our growing cancer cases worldwide.
Regarding chemicals, Camp Lejeune water contamination was a concern in North Carolina in Onslow county. In Camp Lejeune, several veterans and their family members living and working nearby were exposed to water contamination due to harmful chemicals. Thus, the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit came into action, providing compensation to numerous victims.
The Harmful Effects
Water is one of the most important resources we have. It provides us with clean water to drink and bathe in and a healthy environment for our children to play in. However, when there is water contamination, it can end up having some severe health consequences.
They are being able to make you sick from drinking contaminated water or swimming in contaminated lakes and rivers. Chemicals such as mercury have also been linked with congenital disabilities and cancer.
There are several ways that you can get exposed:
- Swimming in contaminated waters.
- Drinking from sources that have been polluted by industrial waste.
- Eating fish caught from polluted waters.
With all the contaminants that can make their way into the water, it’s essential to know which ones are the most common. Below are some examples of what you might find in your local waterways:
- Bacteria – Though not specifically an environmental pollutant, it can introduce bacteria into waterways through human waste and garbage.
- Chemicals – Chemicals pollute waterways when released during industrial processes or as byproducts from manufacturing plants.
- Disease – Certain pathogens risk humans and animals when they contaminate water supplies with fecal matter or vomit.
- Heavy metals – Metals like mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), arsenic(As), chromium(Cr), and nickel(Ni) have been known to infiltrate drinking water sources. They mix up via runoff from industrial sites near rivers or streams. As a result, they lead directly into residential areas where people live nearby these polluted areas and cause harm.
Water pollution is a global issue that affects all of us. We must ensure that we do everything possible to protect our environment and public health. It includes ensuring that we have access to clean drinking water and protecting our waterways from contamination. You can help the world fight against water pollution in many different ways. These ways can make sure we keep these resources clean for future generations. One thing you can do is get involved in events that provide support for environmental protection.
In addition to participating in these events, there are other things you can do to help prevent further damage caused by climate change:
- Recycle your household waste instead of throwing it away, so it doesn’t end up causing additional harm downstream when it eventually gets washed down.
- Try reducing the waste generated by choosing products with less packaging.
- Use reusable bags instead of disposable ones whenever possible because they’re better for the ecosystem.
Increasing Threat to Health
It’s no secret that water pollution is becoming a severe health threat in the US. However, it’s also not a secret that this problem isn’t limited to just our country. Water contamination has become a significant concern worldwide, but it’s still crucial to understand what it means here at home. Water contamination can be caused by many different things, some natural and others manmade.
Water pollution comes from many sources. These include industrial runoff, agricultural runoff, sewage, oil spills, and mining wastes. Not to forget the plastics littering our beaches or floating in the ocean, pesticides sprayed on crops or lawns near waterways, and heavy metals used in electronics manufacturing facilities. The list is extensive and goes on and on. Unfortunately, we may not realize how easy it is for each of these items to contaminate a vital resource. Unfortunately, these contaminate fresh water, and we see its impact firsthand.
Be Conscious About Water for a Healthy Future
Water contamination is an increasing threat to our health, but there are ways we can prevent it. First, we must be more conscious about how much waste we produce. Secondly, we must ensure that no one dumps chemicals into our waterways. Taking care of our earth today ensures a healthy future for ourselves and future generations.