17 Scary Water Pollution Facts (Do Water Filters Even Help?)


Despite the fact that many individuals are ignorant of the facts and common myths regarding water contamination, it is a significant environmental problem in the United States. What causes water contamination, do you know? Do you understand the impact it has on the environment? How can we stop it from occurring? To safeguard pure water for future generations and to maintain our ecosystem, it is crucial to understand the realities concerning water contamination. Continue reading to find out more about the origins, impacts, and mitigation of water pollution in the US.


Water pollution is a major environmental issue in the United States.

  • The US has over 3,000 polluted rivers and streams.
  • Over half of US lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life.
  • Pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus are causing algal blooms in many US waterways.

Learn more about water pollution facts in the United States to understand how it affects our environment and what we can do to help!

Water is one of the most momentous world resources and is exceptionally crucial in all aspects of life. Water is our life blood, yet water pollution is one of the most critical environmental concerns people face today. In view of that, what is water pollution?

Water pollution is the contamination of water sources and can emanate from a number of different causes, it basically damages the quality of water. According to UNICEF’s water pollution facts, polluted water is the second most urgent environmental trouble the world has today, it only tailed behind air pollution. Also, more than 3000 children die every day universally due to consumption of contaminated water.

Imaginably the heaviest point among all the facts about water pollution is that the causes of water pollution are primarily man made. Several water pollution articles mentioned how serious the world’s problem in water pollution is. The effects of water pollution can be shattering and can have harshly undesirable impacts on animals, social health and the surroundings as a whole.

So, What Causes Water Pollution?

To know more about the gravity of water contamination, here is a roll that tips you off regarding the various types of water pollution, how to prevent water pollution and a collection of water pollution solutions as well:

1. Viruses

Viruses are the tiniest form of micro-organisms adept in producing disease. They are contagious organisms that are invisible to the human eye. These bugs are ordinarily hosted into the sources of water through animal or human fecal and urine matters.


NO… but water purification can!

The most suitable treatment for this kind of pollutant is the ultraviolet water purification. It works efficiently in disabling viruses which prevents them from reproducing and making people ill.

2. Bacteria

Bacteria are characteristically single-celled micro-organisms that can also cause health troubles in not just humans but also with animals and plants. Like viruses, bacteria are commonly introduced into the sources of water through animal or human fecal and urine matters. Bacterium such as Escherichia coli can cause short-term health effects and may pose as a bigger danger for people with weak immune systems like the elderly and children.



Most ceramic water filters are efficient at eliminating bacteria, these ceramics have conventionally been used all over the world to treat household water to inhibit the growth of bacteria within the filter itself.

3. Ammonia

Ammonia is a colorless, vaporous compound with a strong distinct scent. This natural product is imperative to plant and animal life, however, toxic levels of ammonia in water can lead to bone and kidney impairment for humans. Toxic levels of ammonia in bodies of water are normally a consequence of improper waste disposal.



Ammonia water treatment largely comprises of destroying it chemically by chlorination.

4. Metals

Metals are inorganic matters that happen naturally in geological formations. Hint amounts of metals go into the water sources as rain drips through rocks or plumbing lines. Exposure to metal contaminated water may cause chronic or acute poisoning which may eventually lead to kidney damage and blood disorders. This water contamination is fatal to infants and children.



The best way to reduce metals in drinking water is reverse osmosis, studies show that this water filtration method can remove 94% to 98% of the metals at the point-of-use.

5. Fertilizers

Fertilizers are not considered as water pollutants if used precisely. If you use too much fertilizer or apply it at the incorrect time, it can straightforwardly wash off your garden into storm drains and then flow untreated into lakes which then produces nitrates in drinking water. Pregnant and babies are specifically susceptible to nitrate related health problems.



Reverse osmosis methods or water distillation can cure water sources that have fertilizers.

6. Plastics

These pollutants are mainly introduced to bodies of water through human activities. Plastics floats easily so it can travel vast distances across oceans and they do not break down organically in the environment that is why this type of water pollution has been a problem since ages ago.



The most convenient solution for this kind of water pollution is to use the cloth filtration where a cotton cloth or a thrown away garment is used as the filter medium.

7. Pharmaceutical Drugs

Pharmaceutical drugs as pollutants come from in appropriate disposal of unused or out of date medicines by flushing them down the drain or toilet. Whichever, they do not peter out, instead, they pervade the water supplies.



Reverse osmosis techniques and ultra-filtration are excellent choices to remove antibiotics and other drugs from the water source.

8. Perchlorate

Perchlorate is a man-made mixture of natural bases that is used in the manufacture of fire-works and explosives. This water pollutant is a toxin and contact to perchlorate in drinking water can detriment the body’s production of hormones needed for mental and physical development. It is often an indication of industrial pollution and improper chemical disposal when there is perchlorate in the bodies of water.



Perchlorate as a fuel oxygenate is terribly tough to exterminate. However, reverse osmosis water treatment systems can provide a 95% decline rate of perchlorate.

9. Suspended Matter

Suspended matters in water are particles that are larger than 2 microns found in the water pillar. These are undissolved items that influence water turbidity. Turbidity gives the water a hazy appearance that looks like a dirty residue.



Rusco sediment filter systems are an outstanding preference to decrease turbidity. Reverse osmosis and UV purification systems may also be used, however, it must first be fixed with a sediment filter to lessen the turbidity.

10. Pesticides

Pesticides are substances used to repel certain forms of plant or animal life that are considered to be pests. These pollutants can enter groundwater as a result of agricultural runoff.



Activated carbon filtration is the most effective technique to remove organics whether synthetic or natural in drinking water.

11. Oil

Oil in bodies of water is introduced by humans through routine shipping and from the oil people pour down on drains.



You can use an oil adsorbing filter that is available in shops, this product removes dissolved and dispersed oils from water instantaneously.

12. Detergents

Cleaning agents in public water supplies usually indicates the likelihood of improper operation of the treatment methods.


NO… but water purification can!

Purification through chlorine can remove low levels of detergent.

13. Radioactivity

Radioactivity in drinking water is the presence of radioactive substances where their presence is undesirable.



It can be treated through reverse osmosis water filtration system which will eradicate 95-98% of any radioactivity in the drinking water.

14. High Acidity

Water that has a pH level of less than 7.0 is deliberated as acidic. This imbalance is frequently produced by industrial pollutants, decomposing plant resources or rain that has fallen through a dirty atmosphere.



Acidic water can be neutralized by filtering it through calcite, corosex, or a mixture of the two.

15. Sodium Chloride

Sodium Chloride is one of the most common impurities found in tap water, it is normally the effect of salt water interruption, road salt runoff and sewage runoffs. Drinking with sodium chloride water pollution causes high blood pressure and affect those with heart ailments.



Reverse osmosis water filtration systems will eliminate sodium chloride from drinking water because of their salt refusal abilities.

16. Volatile Organic Compounds

VOC are man-made chemical compounds and when they are found in water it is often a sign of a chemical spill or industrial pollution from an engineering site. VOC escalate the risk for liver cancer.



The best choice for removal of volatile organic chemicals is Activated carbon filtration. The adsorption capability of the carbon will differ with each type of VOC.

17. Calcium

Calcium in water is the major cause of water hardness. Calcium in water occurs when water saturates through limestone or other soluble carbonate rocks. Calcium in water does not have hostile health influences. However, hard water does distress everything else in your home.


NO… but water softeners can!

Calcium can be easily eliminated with a water softener system.


Water pollution doesn’t have to be the end all of your water drinking habits. Getting a great water filtration system for you and your home will ​certainly give you options and solutions for almost every situation under the sun (or in your water for that matter).

5 Essential Water Pollution Facts for the United States

  1. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over half of all rivers and streams in the United States are polluted.
  2. The EPA also estimates that over one-third of all lakes, reservoirs, and ponds in the United States are polluted.
  3. The most common sources of water pollution in the United States are agricultural runoff, urban runoff, and industrial wastewater.
  4. The EPA has identified over 300 contaminants that can be found in U.S. drinking water supplies.
  5. Water pollution is a major contributor to global climate change, as it releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

ALSO: Consider investing in a home water filter to reduce your exposure to pollutants!</p

We constantly make an effort to implement our editorial practices and policies through out our site. This entails researching all of our articles exhaustively and always doing our best to offer the most reliable details possible for our audience. Please check out our About Us Page for more info.

About The Author

Carolyn Rodriguez
Research Writer
Twitter | LinkedIn | Medium | Tumblr

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.

Thank you for visiting AllAboutWaterFilters. When you purchase through site links on our site, we may possibly earn an affiliate commission, at no extra expense to you. Please be sure to enjoy our website!