Water pollution: causes, effects, and solutions

3 min readOct 21, 2022

What is water pollution?

Today, water pollution is the biggest threat to mankind. Pollution is the undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of land, air, or water. Pollution may be natural or man-made. The substances or agents that cause such changes are called pollutants. A pollutant is a substance that is released into the environment in a harmful amount, usually as a result of human activity. The atmosphere, sea, and waterways are all at risk from pollution.

The pollution of water

Every human being has the right to water. Clean, fresh water is present in sufficient amounts around the world for everyone’s personal and domestic needs. But throughout the world, the water clock has been ticking alarmingly. The problem of accessing quality water in sufficient quantity risks associated with growing water shortages, and degradation of water resources are becoming more complex. Water pollution is the release of substances into bodies of water that make the water unsafe to drink and disrupt aquatic ecosystems. It is unfortunate that rivers and lakes have been used as dumping grounds for human sewage and industrial wastes for centuries. The term water pollution refers to any kind of contamination of water that makes its use hazardous for living organisms. Water supplies throughout the world are being contaminated by agricultural and industrial pollution. Agricultural, industrial, or household wastewater is a growing source of contamination of groundwater. Life is not possible without water, just as it is impossible without air. Additionally, water is “one of the world’s great business opportunities”.

What are the sources of water pollution?

Water pollution by natural means

Natural disasters such as landslides and floods degrade the quality of water.

Water pollution by human activities

It is not surprising that human activities are primarily responsible for water pollution.

Causes of water pollution or water pollution sources

contaminating water sources are categorized broadly according to their sources.

  • Infectious agents
  • Nutrients for plants
  • The use of chemicals, such as insecticides, herbicides, and detergents.
  • Minerals and chemicals of other types
  • Erosion-related sediments
  • Oil Spills.
  • Chemical Waste Dumping.
  • Radiation-producing substances
  • The heat generated by power plants and industrial plants.

Some other causes are

Rapid urbanization and deforestation

Even though they do not directly affect water quality, urbanization and deforestation have a lot of indirect effects. When trees are cut down or large areas are concretized, the flow of water accelerates which makes it difficult for the ground to infiltrate and absorb the water.

Sewage and wastewater

Wastes from domestic and commercial sewage, as well as oxygen-demanding wastes, are a major source of water pollution. The inefficient collection and treatment of sewage lead to water pollution. According to the United Nations, more than 80 percent of the world’s wastewater is returned to the environment without being treated or recycled.


A major cause of water pollution is agriculture since fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, herbicides, and insecticides, as well as manure, livestock excrement, and methane are used in agriculture.

What Are the Effects of Water Pollution?

Different types of water pollution affect the biological and abiotic factors of various aquatic ecosystems at different levels, and their ultimate effects on humans remain quite drastic in the medical, aesthetic, and economical senses. continue reading