The Dirty Truth About Water Pollution Effect On Animals

Have you heard about all the water pollution going on in the world today?

Are you worried about what it’s doing to the environment?

Just how is water pollution affecting animals?

In this article, we’ll break down several of the most common issues related to water pollution and animals. We will help you understand the water pollution effect on animals around the world and give you some ideas about what can be done to change, prevent, or repair these problems, too.

Water pollution is an issue that affects all of us, whether or not you may realize it. By understanding a little more about this problem, you may be able to find ways in your own life to make changes that will affect the rest of the world.

1. Chemicals in Water

effects of water pollution on animals

Causes:

  • Chemicals are present in water any time trash or waste is dumped into that water.
  • No matter what is dumped, it leeches chemicals into the water. This includes obvious waste, like chemical products of factories and farms, but it also includes less obvious trash like plastic.
  • Plastic is actually responsible for most of the chemical pollution in the ocean today.

Effects:

  • Chemicals in the ocean lead to the death of fish and other aquatic life that lives there.
  • When there are too many chemicals in freshwater sources, the people who rely on that fresh water are also affected and can even be poisoned unknowingly in extreme circumstances.
  • Chemically polluted water that is absorbed into the atmosphere falls back to earth as acid rain and causes even more problems.

Prevention/Repair:

  • We can prevent this type of pollution by limiting the waste we dump into the ocean. Unfortunately, this is a huge problem and it’s going to take a long time to make it right, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
  • We also need to impose stricter limits on what factories can and can’t dump into water supplies in order to limit chemical pollution in water.

2. Toxic Algae

effect of water pollution

Causes:

  • Algal blooms and dead zones in the ocean and in fresh water as well are formed by the runoff and wastewater produced by agriculture.
  • When pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals used in farming are washed into the ocean, these substances raise the levels of nitrogen in the water.
  • As nitrogen increases, algae does too, and it continues until it chokes out the life of everything else present in that section of the water.
  • long-arrow-right
    As these organisms die because of the water, they cause the algae to decompose, and everything in that area dies. This is what is known as a dead zone.

Effects:

  • Dead zones and algal blooms cause the death of fish used to feed humans, and they limit the areas in which people can fish as well.
  • Dead zones may also kill off food supplies for larger ocean creatures and may eventually lead to the extinction of these creatures.
  • Algal blooms are very dangerous to humans and can prevent people from visiting beaches when they start to wash ashore. This can also affect the economy in places where these blooms cause tourism to dwindle.

Prevention/Repair:

  • Factory farms need to be held more responsible for the chemicals they dispose of if we are going to fight back against algal blooms.
  • We also need to start finding better and more environmentally friendly ways for these farms to operate in the first place.

3. Mercury Poisoning

Causes:

  • Like most other types of water pollution, mercury poisoning comes from chemicals that are dumped or washed into the ocean from factories.

Effects:

  • Mercury affects aquatic life by poisoning the creatures living in the water and causing them to behave strangely. This may, in turn, lead the larger creatures to beach themselves and die, and it may cause the smaller ones to die off as they stop reproducing or growing properly.
  • Mercury is toxic to humans in large quantities as well. When the fish we eat are contaminated with too much mercury, we may become sick from it, too. Many fish contain some mercury, but more and more, humans are suffering from the effects of fish that come from polluted waters.

Prevention/Repair:

  • As with many of the other pollution issues listed here, more restrictions on the dumping of wastewater from factories could make a big difference in mercury poisoning.

4. Oil Spills

Causes:

  • Oil spills are almost always caused by accidents. These may be related to offshore oil drills or to shipwrecks, among other causes.

Effects:

  • Oil spills are the pollutants we can see and hear about the most often, even though they are much less common than the others on this list. Oil spills cause slicks in the water that may choke out fish and plant life very quickly.
  • Even birds that try to land in water polluted by oil spills can become stuck and die there, or they may become sick or injured from their attempts.

Prevention/Repair:

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely prevent oil spills, as they are usually accidental.
  • angle-double-right
    Cleanup efforts need to be strengthened when oil spills do happen, in order to repair the damage as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

5. Contaminated Plants and Soil

Causes:

  • Contamination of the plants and soil on land occur when polluted water is used in any way.

Effects:

  • Using polluted water to water your garden or wash your food will cause you to be exposed to those pollutants as well.
  • Drinking polluted water can make humans and animals sick or can even lead to death in extreme situations.
  • Polluted water that evaporates into rain doesn’t always become acid rain, but it still carries pollutants to the plants and soil on land.
  • As polluted rain water seeps into the soil, it pollutes the groundwater, which is then carried back to water supplies and the whole cycle starts over again.

Prevention/Repair:

  • It is very important to use water purifiers and filters whenever possible to prevent drinking or otherwise consuming polluted water.
  • angle-double-right
    We need to increase efforts to bring clean drinking water to those who cannot access it normally.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of ways in which water pollution is affecting our day to day lives. Here are some changes we need to be making right away to fix these problems:

  • Stricter and more heavily enforced limits on wastewater dumping.
  • More outreach to help encourage people to clean up and stop dumping trash and waste in or near water sources.
  • Eco-friendly farming and agriculture practices.

We are a long way off from having perfectly clean water everywhere, but with these changes as well as efforts from around the world, we can get there.

BONUS VIDEO!

You Might Also Like