The ‘STU’ of Water Pollution

maj 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm 12 kommentarer


sewageSewage is mainly liquid but can contain some solids. Sewage is a waste product of the daily activities in our homes such as preparing food, washing up etc. Domestic sewage is being led out through the drains in our houses; we drain out excess foods and vegetables through the sink. Washing powder, cleaning products and organic materials everything is being flushed out into the sewer pipes in the ground.

This waste contains toxic materials, disease causing microbes which are all contributing to water pollution. The sewer pipes are in place to bring this excess waste to a treatment plant, which will then remove these impurities BEFORE, the liquid can be returned to the environment. But in many countries, especially in underdeveloped countries, such treatment plants are not in place and the sewage are poured directly from the pipes into the sea or the rivers.

This leaves nature to break down impurities itself. This process requires oxygen, and will eventually lead to a lack of oxygen and can cause alga blooms and fish deaths. But the diseases and impurities in the liquid being poured into the sea will also enter animals like crabs and fish. Fish especially, is a very common ingredient in animal food as well as human food.


dead fishThermal Pollution is when human activities are the cause for a change in water temperature. Whenever there is a change in the waters temperature whether it is up or down, it will influence the natural fauna of the water. Even a change of a few degree have a massive influence.

The most common form of thermal pollution comes from power plants and other industrial estates that use water as a coolant. They normally take surface water from a natural water source somewhere in the area to cool down machines and then release the heated water back into that same water source. But also deforestation that causes sunlight to shine through and heat water that might have been shaded can cause thermal pollution.

An increase in water temperature causes a lack of oxygen increasing algae growth which in turn limits sun light and decreases the photosynthesis process. Warm water also enhances growth in plants causing overpopulation and a lack of oxygen.

A decrease in water temperature can have same devastating effects as an increase. And both scenarios have massive influence on the development of native species. Especially eggs and smaller plants are very vulnerable to temperature changes and can not survive even the smallest changes. This will eventually lead to a complete destruction of certain species.


urban pollutionUrban areas are big polluters. For the first time in human history, more people are now living in cities rather than in rural areas. This means that more cities are being built, cities roads and other urban construction are mostly constructed of concrete, metal and other hard surfaces that slow the water drainage down and lets the water pick up dirt and impurities.

Runoffs from urban areas come in contact with many polluting substances including: sediment, nutrients, bacteria, oil, metals, chemicals, road salt, pet droppings and litter. When not disposed of properly and left in the environment to rot, it will eventually find its way into rivers and seas polluting and making fish and other food sources dangerous to eat.

Many big industrial companies do not get rid off their waste properly; they dispose it directly into streams and lakes leaving nature to clean it self. Streams and rives are natural filters that cleans water, but when they are filled with dirt and garbage and lake being filled in with concrete, it limits their ability to function as filters.

Also check out The ‘VWX’ of Water Pollution about:
W) Water borne diseases
X) Xerophytes


Entry filed under: ABC Series, Environment, Water Pollution. Tags: , , , , .

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12 kommentarer Add your own

  • 1. Peter Maier  |  maj 22, 2008 kl. 5:17 pm

    Before you sniffle how backwards the USEPA is, first look at your own regulations. Here you will find out that also in Europe this essential test is incorrectly applied and that in most countries nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste is ignored, not only as a pollutant exerting an oxygen demand, but also as a nutrient. Hence the nutrient enrichment of open waters, which eventually is resulting in dead zones.

    As long as EPA does not consider nitrogenous waste (urine and protein) pollution, we will never implement the Clean Water Act, as it was intended. This waste not only, like fecal waste, exerts an oxygen demand, but also is a fertilizer for algae and aquatic plant growth, causing eutrophication and eventually dead zones.

    The reason EPA ignored this pollution is caused by a worldwide incorrect applied pollution test that EPA used to base its NPDES discharge permits on.

    Although EPA in 1984 acknowledged this incorrect use, in stead of correcting the test, it allowed an alternative test and now officially ignored this type of pollution and by doing so lowered the goal of the CWA from 100% treatment to a measly 35% treatment, without notifying Congress.

    Other problems caused by this incorrect applied test are that we do not know the real performance of a sewage treatment plants and have no idea what the effluent waste loading is on receiving water bodies, besides the possibility that such plants are designed to treat the wrong waste in sewage.

    Want to know more visit and read the description of this test (BOD) in the Technical PDF section.

  • 2. amillaSlign  |  april 10, 2009 kl. 6:54 pm

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  • 6. 当方  |  maj 11, 2014 kl. 10:11 am


    The ‘STU’ of Water Pollution | European Waters

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