Water is incredibly important to all of us. The surface of the Earth is 70% water, and there’s even more below the surface that we can’t see without digging for it. Although it’s important to take care of the whole environment, water is our most important resource and must be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, water pollution and water contamination are huge problems that face everyone in the world today, and although steps have been taken to remedy these issues, they’re a long way off from disappearing completely.
To better understand what’s going on in the world today, you need to know the difference between water pollution and water contamination.
Water pollution – Water pollution happens when something is present in water that shouldn’t be and that something can cause harm to humans, the environment, or both. When you hear the term “water pollution” you probably think of oil spills in the ocean, and that’s certainly one type to be concerned with. However, there are many other kinds of water pollution you might never have thought of before. Did you know, for example, that E. coli can be a type of water pollution? Nitrates, lead, and even algae can all contribute to the pollution of water under the right circumstances.
Water contamination – Contaminated water is similar to polluted water, but it’s not quite the same. Contaminants aren’t always dangerous, or they might not be present in levels high enough to become dangerous. Lead is, once again, a great example. When trace amounts of lead are present in water, that water can be called contaminated. However, until the lead builds up to levels that are dangerous for human consumption, water contamination is not referred to as polluted.