25 Causes Of Water Pollution (Why We Blame HUMANS)


One of the biggest environmental problems today is water contamination, which has an impact on both human and animal health. Several factors contribute to it, including sewage, agricultural runoff, and industrial waste. Sadly, there are a lot of false beliefs regarding what produces this pollution. Do you believe, for instance, that plastic waste is the only source that warrants concern? or that calamities caused by nature can also be a major factor? The majority of water contamination is actually caused by human activity, and conserving our environment requires that we realize this. Continue reading to discover the real origins of this pollution and how to stop it.


Water pollution is a global environmental issue caused by human activities.

  • Industrial waste and agricultural runoff are major sources of water pollution.
  • Oil spills, sewage, and chemical pollutants also contribute to water contamination.
  • Climate change is exacerbating the effects of water pollution on ecosystems.

Understanding the causes of water pollution can help us develop strategies to protect our planet's precious resources.

Did you know that water pollution is one of the biggest problems faced worldwide today?

Were you aware of just how widespread this issue really is?

Did you realize that polluted water might even be a problem in your own home, even if you live in a city with treated water supplies?

Unfortunately, water pollution may be closer to you than you might think. There are a lot of human activities that cause water pollution, and many of these happen close to or even in your own home. Even if you don’t purposefully intend to dump waste or otherwise cause damage to your local water, you may be doing so without even realizing it.

With so many different human causes of water pollution, it might be overwhelming to imagine where to begin educating yourself on the problem. It’s true that the problem is a very big one, and that it can seem like too daunting of a task to even think about. This is why it’s more important than ever to really get a good understanding of water pollution caused by human activities and what you can do to stop it.

In this article, you’ll be introduced to 15 types of water pollution caused by humans, as well as a few tips to help you cut back on this pollution in your home, community, and surrounding area.

Direct Human Causes of Water Pollution

Direct causes of water pollution are those causes that change the quality of water almost immediately. There’s no “middle man” in these situations; the water doesn’t have to go through any changes before it becomes contaminated. These are some of the most common types of water pollution caused by humans, but because they’re so direct, they’re also some of the easiest to work on and correct. Keep all of these in mind when you examine the community around you as well as your household, and you’ll be better able to make more environmentally sound decisions in the future.

1. Illegal Dumping

This is probably the most common cause of direct water pollution from humans. Whether you dump your waste in the wrong places on purpose or accidentally, if you’re not following directions on how to dispose of your trash, then you may be contributing to this problem. Dumping garbage in the woods, near streams, or in ditches can quickly cause pollution in both groundwater and surface water. Always be sure to properly dispose of waste from your household, and to recycle whenever possible.

In years gone by, it was much more common for individuals as well as companies to dump waste illegally into water supplies or near areas that could cause contamination of those water sources. Many chemicals that cause water pollution are present in the garbage and other types of waste, and dumping in or near water supplies can very quickly lead to a buildup of pollution that can’t be reversed. Today, it isn’t as difficult to dispose of waste properly, but companies and individuals alike still sometimes participate in illegal dumping, usually in places where it costs a lot of money to pay for regular waste disposal.

One of the best ways to combat this type of pollution is to ensure that garbage disposal remains cost effective in every city and town around the world. Dumps should be easily accessible, and it should not cost very much at all to dump even large amounts of waste at these sites. Companies should always have adequate resources to help dispose of wastes, especially when those wastes are already chemical in nature and could potentially cause very serious problems if exposed to water. Cities and counties should focus on making sure every individual household in the area is signed up for garbage disposal services to make it less likely that those households will dump items illegally.

2. Factories and Industrial Runoff

In areas where factories are present, these factories are often located near sources of water. Many are built near large bodies of water, but even if not, they’re usually not far away from creeks or streams. When it rains, chemical waste is washed away from these factories as storm water runoff. That runoff soon reaches the groundwater or sources of surface water, and pollution continues. This is doubly true of areas where power plants, especially nuclear power plants, are present. In these areas, acid rain may also occur.

Factories remain the leading causes of industrial water pollution around the world. Where factories are present, runoff from those factories can easily enter water supplies either through surface water or through groundwater, depending on the location. This can severely impact the quality of the water in the area. Depending on the type of factory, it might cause the water to become much too alkaline or acidic for existing fish and plant life to survive, and it might even so severely damage the water that it becomes unsafe for human use.

Factories can also cause the presence of bacteria to increase significantly in any water supply. As water becomes dirtier from factory waste drifting into the supply, bacteria are provided with the perfect conditions to thrive. In many cases, factory operations can also cause water temperatures to rise or fall, and when this happens, it becomes more likely for bacteria growth to take place. At the same time, the natural nutrients present in the water decrease, and so the remaining water is left dirty and prone to causing illness and even possible death to humans and animals that interact with it.

3. Agricultural Runoff

Agricultural runoff encompasses both natural and unnatural sources of contamination. For example, farms that don’t dispose properly of animal waste often contribute to the buildup of ammonia and nitrates in local water sources, as well as the potential for illness to spread through animal feces. Bacteria in these water supplies is very common. On the other hand, even if the waste is disposed of properly, many times chemicals are used without regulations in agricultural situations. When this happens, the potential for runoff pollution is very similar to the situation with factories and power plants.

It’s important to remember that agriculture itself isn’t a problem and that it’s necessary for humans to survive. With that said, however, environmentally friendly agricultural practices should always be the top priority of any small scale farmers and factory farms as well. There are many agricultural activities that cause water pollution, and these activities must be reduced by all farms around the country and around the world in order to keep water sources safe.

One of the many potential problems with farming in terms of water pollution is the possibility for soil erosion. As areas are plowed and planted again and again, the soil is loosened and becomes much more prone to drifting into the water supply. This can make the water dirty and can easily contribute to the rise of bacteria present. Of course, pesticides made with harsh chemicals are also a problem, especially when they enter into water supplies. Humans and animals both should not consume these pesticides, but it’s impossible to avoid it when they’re used so frequently that they are present in water.

4. Chemical Runoff

This is more of a general version of runoff pollution, but it might be happening in your own home or yard. Frequent use of chemicals to treat your lawn for pests or to encourage grass to grow may seep into the soil in your yard and spread to groundwater sources. Even if you avoid these types of chemicals, you still might be contributing to this problem with the chemicals you use to wash your home or car. Disposing incorrectly of detergents, soaps, and cleaners by dumping them out in your yard can also cause a similar runoff issue. Educate yourself and your neighbors about the proper ways to use and dispose of these products.

5. Landfills

While proper disposal of garbage in landfills is an important part of taking responsibility for the environment, the sad truth is that even these landfills are causing pollution. Landfills that are hastily constructed or aren’t up to modern-day standards let garbage sit for a long time and allow it to seep into the ground around it. This can lead to runoff, groundwater pollution, and even surface water pollution if the dump is located too close to sources of surface water. In some instances, wind and heavy rain may even wash pieces of garbage into water supplies from large landfills.

6. Plastics

In landfills as well as around the home, plastics continue to be a huge problem in terms of water pollution. Allowing plastic to sit for a long time and be exposed to rain and soil causes chemicals from the plastic to leach into the groundwater nearby. These types of chemicals can be very harsh, and they may lead to severely contaminated water over time. Be sure to never throw plastic bottles or other containers into surface water sources, and always recycle these types of materials when possible.

7. Construction Runoff

Like factories and agricultural facilities, construction sites are often some of the leading causes of chemical runoff contamination. Many times, these sites are started without much thought to the surrounding environment, and it might seem like building gets underway very fast in these situations. Unfortunately, this also usually means that there haven’t been very many protections set in place to keep runoff from occurring and groundwater from becoming contaminated around the site. Construction sites make use of harsh chemicals as well as metals that can cause too much of certain minerals to build up in the water supply, and they must be regulated for water safety.

8. Batteries

You may have seen locations offering to recycle batteries for free, but did you ever stop to think about why? When batteries aren’t recycled properly, they end up in landfills, where the chemicals and acid inside are allowed to leach into the soil. This can actually poison the nearby water supply and can cause people in the area to become very sick. It’s also incredibly damaging to the fish and wildlife in the area, and in some cases, it can contribute to the possibility of wildfires. Properly disposing of batteries can make a world of difference in terms of cutting back on pollution.

9. Mining

Mining is one of the biggest causes of direct water pollution in many areas around the country. Although there are several other environmental concerns when it comes to mining and over-mining, water pollution is one of the big ones. When mining is present, it is much more likely to find dangerous minerals in fresh water supplies. Although a small amount of minerals present in water is natural and sometimes even beneficial for humans and animals alike, an overabundance of any of these can potentially cause severe illness and even death when that water is consumed. It can also cause plant life in the area to die out quickly as water is no longer able to be absorbed appropriately by these plants.

Mining also causes water to become much dirtier as the murkiness increases from soil and other debris sloughing into the supply. This can cause fish to die quickly as they are no longer able to breathe through their gills properly. The pH balance of water changes quickly when new minerals are introduced or the balance of those minerals is thrown off, too. This can cause fish to die as well, and it can also make the water too acidic for human use. Finally, in areas where salt is present in mines, the water can be turned from fresh to brackish or salt water, which can severely impact the surrounding ecosystem.

10. Leaks and Spills

It’s no secret that leaks and spills, even while accidental, are some of the most well-known and well-documented causes of water pollution historically. You’ve probably heard of at least some of these major spills, such as the massive oil spills that have seriously damaged the ocean and its creatures in past years. However, you might not be aware that smaller-scale spills happen regularly around the United States and around the world as well. When handling harsh chemicals and pollutants such as oil or gasoline, the potential for accidents is always present, and it could have disastrous outcomes.

Unfortunately, energy sources also sometimes suffer leaks and accidents, sometimes to severely devastating lengths. For example, nuclear power plant leaks, even if small and quickly contained, have the potential to lead to widespread death and destruction of the surrounding environment. These major accidents can even spread through water supplies and through the air to cause problems hundreds of miles away. Although this is a rare occurrence, the potential is still there, and water supplies are threatened every day by the possibility of pollutants from nuclear power plants, oil spills, gas leaks, and even small chemical leaks in residential situations.

11. Energy

Aside from the possibility of severe leaks from nuclear power plants, various sources of energy continue to pose potential water pollution issues. Energy is a necessity for human life to survive and thrive and for the human race to continue progressing into the future. However, the more energy we use, the more waste is produced from every type of energy we incorporate into our daily lives. For example, when coal is burned, it causes chemicals to enter into the atmosphere which can easily run into water supplies and cause serious damage to the fish and plant life within. This damage can be passed on to humans through consumption or recreation easily.

In areas where nuclear power plants are present, water is almost always too severely contaminated to be used for anything. For miles surrounding these plants, fish and plant life is almost completely gone, and signs warning people to stay out of the water are prevalent. Individuals who happen to live close to these power plants will experience another type of water pollution: acid rain. This rain falls frequently around plants that are in operation, and it causes a lot of damage to plant and animal life in the area. It can even damage property and peel paint from cars that aren’t protected from this common occurrence.

12. Animal Waste

Last but not least, animal waste is always a potential problem of direct water pollution. This, however, is a very natural type of pollution that doesn’t have anything to do with human interaction with nature. Even if humans aren’t present at all in an area, animal waste is likely to come into contact with water sources and cause pollution. It is for this reason that it will always be important for people to have access to water filtration methods.

When animal waste is present in water, bacteria growth increases significantly. It’s possible to catch illnesses from animals that produce waste in and around water supplies. Animals that are infected with parasites might also cause those parasites to enter the water where waste is present. If someone drinks or swims in water that is infected with animal parasites, those parasites can easily be transferred to that person. From there, they can be spread to other people depending on the type of parasite. Although animal waste is natural and is to be expected, it is always important to treat water before drinking it or using it for any recreational purposes, even in your own home.

Indirect Human Causes of Water Pollution

Indirect causes of water pollution have to go through a few changes before they start to affect the quality of a water supply. They are less noticeable in the world around you, and because of this, many individuals—especially in residential communities—might not recognize them as problems until they get to be very troubling. However, it’s always a good idea to keep these in mind as well, especially when you’re looking for ways to make a difference in the world around you. Be mindful of potential indirect causes of water pollution as you read through this list.

13. Deforestation

Deforestation is a big word that basically means cutting down trees. However, there is a lot more to it than just that. Deforestation often takes place in order to clear land for more urban growth. This means that an ecosystem which was once firmly established is suddenly destroyed, and the remaining nature that stays in place has to compensate for this damage in some way. A lot of times, this means that the soil left behind after the trees and other plants are removed is simply left to erode, often very quickly. Fast erosion leads to damage by contaminating the water with the soil as it sloughs off into the water supply.

When water is damaged through deforestation, remaining fish in the area become sick and die off as they try to breathe in water that is now filled with soil. Plants that live in the water are unable to continue growing as the water grows dirtier over time, and bacteria thrive in this soil-filled water source. The best way to cut back on deforestation pollution is to reduce urban expansion or to take it very slowly so that soil doesn’t erode into the water so easily.

14. Urbanization

Urbanization is related to deforestation in that both of these types of pollution happen when humans decide to expand their cities and towns into parts of the environment that were previously uninhabited. However, when it comes to urbanization, this focuses more closely on the results of human beings living in and affecting the land around them. This includes the results of humans building houses and roads on land, as well as using fertilizers to farm on the land. It also includes chemical pollution, although this problem can be further broken down into other causes listed below. Finally, urbanization also includes litter that is thrown out by humans and often finds its way into water sources.

Although in some ways urbanization is good, it needs to be controlled more effectively in order to keep water safe from pollutants. It is always okay to make progress and to expand, but it should be a major concern from day one of any expansion project to keep water supplies safe. People should also be more careful about not throwing litter out of car windows or allowing it to pile up in areas where it can easily drift into water sources. Cities should take care to test the water regularly and to ensure that all runoffs to water supplies are clean and free of debris.

15. Wetlands Destruction

One of the leading causes of river water pollution is the destruction of the wetlands. The wetlands have been in place since long before human beings, and they have always done their job at keeping water levels at their best throughout the year. Where wetlands are present, water is naturally dammed during the hotter times of the year and is allowed to flow more freely during the winter. This supplies animals and plants throughout the ecosystem with just enough water no matter what the weather might be like outside.

Unfortunately, the wetlands have slowly been destroyed by human interaction over the years. Humans have begun to cut down the plants and trees that can be found in these important ecosystems, and have even started to drain and dam the water supplies in unnatural ways. When this happens, natural filters are lost, and water is much more seriously polluted. The soil is able to erode quickly into the water supply, blocking it with dirt and causing damage to the plants and animals that live there. When wetlands are destroyed quickly, birds and fish die in great numbers, and their bodies also contaminate the water with bacteria. Wetlands, like forests, should be left alone or very slowly developed in order to cut back on these risks.

16. River Dams

Damming rivers is part of the problem with wetlands, but this type of pollution can occur anywhere and in any type of ecosystem where a large amount of water is present. Although the idea behind river dams is sound, there are several environmental problems which arise when rivers aren’t allowed to flow the natural way. Damming a river means blocking it at one or more of its sources to keep it from potential flooding. However, this means that the existing water is altered in many ways, and in some cases the risk of flooding might actually increase.

Dammed river water loses its nutrients quickly and tends to become brackish instead of fresh in many instances. This kills off the fish and plants that live there, and in turn, birds and animals that feed on those fish and plants are also depleted. The ecosystem becomes destroyed, and since the water doesn’t move nearly as much, it becomes a hotbed for bacteria growth. Water in dams is very rarely safe for human consumption without being treated first, and it is also not very safe for swimming.

17. Stormwater

Runoff from stormwater is one of the leading causes of surface water pollution. The term “stormwater” refers to any water that is present in abundance because of weather situations, such as very heavy rainfall or a great deal of snow that has melted. This is a natural occurrence and, when human intervention isn’t present, it doesn’t really cause a lot of damage other than an increased risk of flooding. However, where factories and other potential pollutants are present, when storm water runoff occurs, it has a very high risk of carrying chemicals and other pollutants from those factories to water sources in the area. Stormwater runoff causes a lot of pollution in very heavily populated cities where drains and ditches are often full of contaminants.

The best way to combat pollution from stormwater runoff is to cut back on the use of harsh polluting chemicals altogether. Unfortunately, in some cities where factories are already well established, this is impossible to change. In these cases, it is always important for cities to monitor the places where stormwater runoff is present. This way, they can intervene before anything should happen to the much larger water supplies.

18. Fossil Fuel Emissions

When it comes to pollution, fuel emissions are one of the biggest problems just about every natural resource faces today. Any type of fuel causes emissions that can have adverse effects on the water around it. For example, when fossil fuels are burned, the resulting particles are filled with toxic chemicals that should be kept out of the water at all costs. This also causes carbon dioxide to enter the air, and if the fuels are burned very close to a water source, that carbon dioxide can also easily enter the water supply. Fossil fuels are known to cause lead contamination in water sources as well, which is very dangerous not only for the animals and fish present but also for any people who happen to drink or swim in that water.

Even gasoline causes fuel emissions that can, unfortunately, cause water pollution. When gasoline is burned, it leaves behind carbon oxides and sulfur, both of which cause air and water pollution. These substances can enter into water supplies, especially in large cities where gasoline related pollution is very common. These are very unhealthy for human beings to consume, and water must be treated in order to remove this type of pollution as well as possible. Unfortunately, it sometimes cannot be removed completely.

When fossil fuels are burned, they cause particles to enter the atmosphere which can then travel to water supplies. Over time, this can lead to surface water pollution and may even contribute to acid rain, depending on how polluted your area is. Fossil fuel runoff is also possible, especially from places where these types of fuels are stored. Groundwater contamination is also a potential problem from fossil fuels.

19. Construction Sites

Construction sites remain one of the most notable causes of indirect water pollution. Although they rarely dump directly into water supplies, they have a lot of issues that combine to make them a very real threat to any water supply. Any surface water runoff that comes from a construction site becomes polluted with chemicals used in and around that site for a variety of different reasons. Something as simple as paint, cement, or oil that might seem like a harmless addition to a construction site can cause a lot of problems if it enters into a water supply.

Soil can become contaminated with these substances as well, and groundwater can easily become polluted by this. If pets or humans drink water from a well that might be dug at the construction site, they can become very sick or even possibly die from contamination resulting from these pollutants. Although the best way to avoid water pollution from construction sites is to cut back on construction altogether, this is more or less impossible. Construction workers and city planners should always be mindful of water runoff and should do what they can to prevent water from escaping from the construction site while work is being completed.

20. Domestic City Sewage

Generally speaking, city sewage systems are usually designed to properly and carefully dispose of human waste, and they’re often maintained well enough to keep leaks from forming. Even so, sometimes accidents happen, and sometimes oversights are made. In these situations, human waste can quickly contaminate the soil and water in the area and can lead to serious illness and disease. It is very important for cities and counties to keep up with regular checks on their sewage systems, and to respond quickly to any natural disasters that might cause damage to the pipes.

21. Septic Systems

Unfortunately, septic systems are much more prone to accidents and leakage than city sewer systems are. Many times, septic systems are not installed correctly for their location, and they’re not kept up with regularly either. In these situations, human waste can quickly contaminate water and may lead to severe bacterial infections, dysentery, intestinal parasites, and hepatitis in people who drink the water. This can also cause death in animals and plants in the area, which means that entire ecosystems will suffer along with any humans who are exposed to this contaminated water. Septic systems can be very dangerous and should always be handled properly to reduce the risk of pollution.

22. Too Many Nutrients

You might not realize it, but sometimes you can have too many nutrients in your water supply. Especially in the case of city water systems, the water is often treated with a variety of different minerals and nutrients to make it safer to drink and, sometimes, healthier than natural water as well. However, it is very easy to go overboard with these nutrients. Fluoride is one such nutrient that is necessary for human health and wellness but may be very troublesome in larger quantities. If your city water is treated with too much fluoride, you may notice yourself or your children having dental trouble from early on.

23. Hormones and Antibiotics

Once again, agricultural facilities are usually responsible for this problem, but not always. In places where agriculture is more prevalent, especially larger factory farms, animals are often treated with hormones and antibiotics to keep them healthy or encourage growth. Unfortunately, this is very unhealthy for the humans who consume these products. Even if you don’t eat meat treated with hormones or antibiotics, these substances may be present in your drinking water if you live in an area where farm waste may be present in your water supply. Animal urine that may otherwise be filtered from water sources can still contain these substances in amounts large enough to cause illness in humans who drink this water.

24. Leaks and Spills

While leaks and spills never happen on purpose, they do still happen, and it’s often because of human negligence or error. Oil spills are some of the most well-known of these situations, but there are other types of leaks and spills that happen almost every day and never make it to the big news headlines. This is especially true of the oil and gasoline industries, which sometimes even experience leaks of products that are kept in storage. These leaks and spills can cause widespread damage to the environment, as well as make fresh water unpalatable for humans.

25. Mining

Last but not least, mining often leads to contamination of water sources near the places where the mining is taking place. Although there are many other potential problems associated with mining, water pollution is one of the big ones. Mining may lead to poisonous minerals in rocks being exposed to water supplies or seeping into groundwater, which in turn can cause severe illness in any humans or animals who drink this water. Arsenic, lead, sodium and many other minerals can build up significantly in water sources near mining sites, especially when fracking takes place. Similarly, runoff from mining sites can wash chemicals used in the mining process into nearby water sources.

How Water Pollution Happens

Water pollution is a major contributor to declining health and well-being of animals, plants, ecosystems, and even human beings in the United States and in the rest of the world. To some extent, a small amount of water pollution is natural and can’t be helped. In these instances, wild animal waste is usually the main contributor to potential water pollution. Sometimes, water sources can also be contaminated by running through rocks and soil that contain too much arsenic or lead, which can in turn poison the water. However, these types of water pollution are very small in comparison to the huge amount of contamination caused by human interference every day.

Agricultural runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. This seems counter-productive since agricultural operations require fresh, clean water in order to run properly and to continue producing their products. However, the agricultural industry is not regulated very harshly in terms of water cleanliness, and so runoff and waste disposal quickly becomes a huge problem in and around centers of agriculture.

How Water Pollution Occurs

So how does water pollution occur? Below are four of the most common ways.

1. Runoff

Runoff is a huge contributor to water pollution around the world. Anywhere toxic substances are present, runoff has the potential to cause problems. For example, if a construction site uses toxic chemicals or heavy metals and doesn’t take proper precautions, rain that falls on that site will wash these substances away from the area and into the soil or surface water nearby. One of the most important terms for you to keep in mind when exploring the causes of water pollution is “runoff.” This word might not make a lot of sense if you’ve never looked much into pollution before, but it’s a huge factor in many of the contaminated water situations in the United States as well as around the world. When factories, agricultural centers, construction sites and more produce toxic materials or use them in manufacturing, those materials are often exposed to rain water. As it rains in these areas, the chemicals are then washed from these sites and into the soil or, in some instances, into nearby streams, lakes, or ponds. Because of this, stormwater runoff is one of the leading causes of water pollution, and it’s something that needs to be fixed.

2. Groundwater Pollution

While runoff is one cause of groundwater pollution, there are many others. When groundwater is polluted, that pollution is carried through the water table below the Earth’s surface and eventually makes its way to surface water sources. There are actually two different types of freshwater: groundwater and surface water. Surface water is any water you can see just by looking around. This includes creeks and streams, lakes, ponds, and rivers. Groundwater is the opposite. This term refers to water that exists underground and can’t be seen without digging for it. When chemical pollutants and waste are washed into the soil, they can easily reach the groundwater underneath. Over time, this groundwater seeps into nearby sources of surface water, which in turn contaminates the water we use for drinking and daily life. Groundwater contamination is a very real problem that affects the whole world.

3. Surface Water Pollution

This is the type of water pollution people are most familiar with. This type of pollution is caused by objects that are left on the banks of rivers and lakes, wastewater that’s dumped into rivers from factories and power plants, and a host of other types of contamination that get out of hand fast.

4. Marine Pollution

Although this article focuses mostly on problems with freshwater pollution, remember that marine water isn’t safe from pollution either. When oil spills take place in the ocean, it may take years for those to be completely cleaned up. Sometimes, they are never cleaned, and they continue to cause widespread damage forever.

What are Some of the Common Sources of Water Pollution?

In this section, you’ll find out some of the most common sources of water pollution. There are three different categories of water pollution, and each source falls into one of them.

  • Organic – These types of pollution are almost always not considered pollution until they get out of hand. Most of the time, organic pollutants start out as simply contaminants. They may be something as simple as animal waste products, or they might be something as problematic as E. coli or some other type of bacteria or parasite present in water.
  • Inorganic – Inorganic pollutants are usually made up of man-made chemicals or other substances. These may be a little harder to classify in some cases, but they’re almost always very dangerous. They may include plastics, battery acid, pesticides, fertilizers, and any other type of material or substance made by humans.
  • Radioactive – Radioactive pollutants have their own category even though they’re often naturally occurring simply because they are so potentially dangerous. Unfortunately, there are many bodies of water around the world that are seriously polluted with radioactive materials. Places near nuclear power plants and certain types of factories are at the greatest risk for this type of pollution simply because of frequent wastewater dumping.


Now that you understand more about what human activities cause water pollution, you can start doing more to recognize these activities in and around your own home. Within your home, you can start cutting back on the amount of waste you dispose of regularly by enrolling in a recycling program or even reusing plastic containers for more than one purpose. You can also be more careful about how you get rid of unused chemical cleaners and detergents.

Of course, outside the home, there are many types of water pollution due to human activities as well. If you feel like getting more involved in your community, you can start educating your neighbors and friends about better ways to treat their yards for pests than using harsh chemicals that can affect groundwater. More outspoken individuals might even want to call or write to government offices to encourage cities and counties to practice more environmentally-friendly ways of disposing of waste and preventing runoff from construction, industrial, and agricultural sites.

Remember that no matter where you’re located and no matter how small or large your local community might be, there’s always something you can do to make a difference. While there are a few natural causes of water pollution, humans have the largest effect on this widespread problem. Because of this, it’s always important to be aware of the environment around you and practice making some changes so you can improve the quality of the water where you live.

Additional Research:


5 Essential Tips to Avoid Water Pollution

  1. Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural activities.
  2. Properly dispose of hazardous materials such as oil, paint, and chemicals.
  3. Minimize the use of single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable materials.
  4. Avoid dumping garbage into rivers, lakes, or oceans.
  5. Ensure that wastewater is treated before being released into bodies of water.

ALSO: Plant trees near bodies of water to help filter out pollutants!

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About The Author

Carolyn Rodriguez
Research Writer
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Carolyn Rodriguez works at AllAboutWaterFilters as a content research writer, specializing in content resources regarding water pollution, contamination, and treatment. She has previously worked as an editing assistant, content production assistant, research assistant, and ghost writer for a range of websites, with a particular concentration on water pollution. She is currently writing regularly for AllAboutWaterFilters as well as her own water safety essays across the web.

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