What are the main Sources of Water Pollution?

“Water pollution is defined as presence of any foreign substance or energy in water in such concentration and for such duration that tends to degrade the quality of water so that man, animal or any other organisms cannot enjoy the beneficial qualities of water but the use constitute a hazard.”

Water pollution is classified as freshwater pollution (it includes both surface and ground water pollution) and marine water pollution.

Main Sources of Water Pollution

Point Sources:

When the cause and place of pollution is easily identifiable, it is known as

Point source of water pollution Example Municipal and industrial discharge pipes.

Non-point Sources:

When the cause and place of pollution cannot be readily identified, it

Is known as non-point source of water pollution Example Mining runoff and acid rain

Water Pollutants

(i) Organic Pollutants

They include oil, synthetic organic compounds, sewage and agricultural run-off, disease-causing wastes and oxygen-demanding wastes.

(ii) Inorganic Pollutants

They include metals, metal compounds, organometallic compounds, mineral acids, inorganic salts, etc.

(iii) Suspended Solids and Sediments

They comprise of sand, silt and minerals eroded from the land.

(iv) Radioactive Materials

They include radioactive isotopes from nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants, research, industrial applications, agriculture and therapeutic as well as diagnostic medical applications.

(v) Thermal Pollution

They include discharge of waste heat to water body by thermal and nuclear power plants.