What is Water Pollution?

  • Water pollution happens as soon as we contaminate the ocean, river, dams and any water source. Large plastic pieces could injure, suffocate and often kill many marine animals, including protected and endangered species, such as sea turtles and monk seals.
  • Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than five millimeters long.  By entering the food chain, these fragments threaten an increasing number of animal species as well as people.
  • Water is one of the most vital parts of life and it is one resource that is impossible to live without yet it is something that a lot of people in this world that take it for granted.

WWF has an article that talks about Freshwater: what’s at stake, what we’re missing, what we’re losing, what it’s worth

  • Oceans cover around 70% of the Earth’s surface and account for 97% of its water. Only 3% of all water on Earth is freshwater.
  • Most of this freshwater is locked away in the form of ice caps and glaciers located in the polar regions – though perhaps not for much longer the way climate change is taking hold.
  • It won’t change the fact that only about 1% of all water found on this planet is easily accessible for human use.

Because of Mining acid mine drainage, toxic waste and abandoned mines remain a problem to our environment in South Africa fresh water species are disappearing.

  • Scientists generally acknowledge that species dependent on freshwater ecosystems are the world’s most endangered group of plants and animals.
  • More than 20% of the world’s 10,000 freshwater species have become extinct, threatened or endangered in recent decades (CBD2005). Freshwater environments tend to have the highest proportion of species threatened with extinction (MA 2005).
  • According to the WWF Living Planet Report 2006, the analysed 344 representative tropical and temperate freshwater species populations declined by about 30% overall between 1970 and 2003. Freshwater birds appear to have relatively stabilized while other freshwater species have declined on an average by about 50%.

Ways you can avoid water pollution?

  • DO NOT pour fat from cooking or any other type of fat, oil, or grease down the sink. Keep a “fat jar” under the sink to collect the fat and discard in the solid waste when full.
  • DO NOT dispose of household chemicals or cleaning agents down the sink or toilet.
  • DO NOT flush pills, liquid or powder medications or drugs down the toilet.
  • Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket. Most tissues, wrappers, dust cloths, and other paper goods should be properly discarded in a wastebasket. The fiber reinforced cleaning products that have become popular should never be discarded in the toilet.
  • Avoid using a garbage disposal. Keep solid wastes solid. Make a compost pile from vegetable scraps.
  • Install a water efficient toilet. In the meantime, put a brick or 1/2 gal container in the standard toilet tank to reduce water use per flush.
  • Run the dishwasher or clothes washer only when you have a full load. This conserves electricity and water.
  • Use the minimum amount of detergent and/or bleach when you are washing clothes or dishes. Use only phosphate free soaps and detergents.
  • Minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers. DO NOT dispose of these chemicals, motor oil, or other automotive fluids into the sanitary sewer or storm sewer systems.