Water contamination is an issue that affects many parts of the United States, and it can have serious, negative health consequences for those who drink it. Even your tap water, which you likely think of as safe to drink, could contain contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals.
Moreover, the U.S. witnessed some worse cases of water contamination and crisis in the past. Incidents like Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune are among the most devastating events which inflicted unbearable suffering and loss to the residents of Camp Lejeune.
A variety of factors causes it but often can be traced to either agricultural runoff or corrosion. Luckily, you can take measures to protect yourself from contaminated water or remove those contaminants if they’re already present.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the major causes of water contamination and how to deal with them:
Organic contaminants result from living organisms, such as fungi and bacteria. They can be found in water sources that have been contaminated with feces, sewage, or animal waste.
Organic contaminants can also occur when organic matter (such as leaves and grass) decomposes in standing water – this is particularly common after heavy rainfall.
Some of the most common organic contaminants include:
- E-coli – is a type of bacteria found in fecal matter from animals like humans and livestock; it can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting if ingested.
- Salmonella – another type of bacteria that causes acute illness by attaching itself to small intestine walls; symptoms include abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea.
Inorganic contamination is a broad category that includes all forms of water pollution that are not organic. These include metals, other inorganic materials, and chemicals (such as chlorine).
To fix this problem, take steps to avoid adding any inorganics to your water supply. For example, if you live near a metal factory or toxic waste dump, consider moving or taking precautions against exposure to the contaminants in your drinking water.
Biological water contamination is caused by microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. These contaminants are often introduced into the water supply through human or animal waste.
Biological contaminants can cause illness in humans and animals, so it’s important to take note of any biological contaminants in your drinking water. If you notice an unusual taste or smell in your tap water, this could be an indication of a biological contaminant such as bacteria or viruses.
- Industrial waste – Sometimes, chemical contamination comes from industrial activity. For example, if your town has a paper mill, you can expect to see some chemicals in the water — especially if they have a problem with their wastewater treatment plant.
- Agricultural waste – If you live near a farm that uses pesticides or fertilizers to grow crops, it’s possible that those chemicals will find their way into the groundwater (and eventually into your tap). This is one reason why some people choose organic foods over conventionally-grown ones: they fear the pesticides used on conventional produce might bring harm to themselves and their families over time.
- Mining waste – Mining operations often use toxic chemicals like mercury or arsenic in order to extract minerals from underground deposits like ore or coal; these toxins can get into drinking water through cracks in well casings or by seeping through ground fills that were never properly sealed off from local aquifers in the first place.
Clean Up Contaminated Water With These Easy Methods
1. Use a Filter to Filter Out the Water
If the water is contaminated, you can use a filter to filter out the water. There are many types of filters available, including:
- Carbon block – This type of filter does not remove bacteria but takes out chemicals in your water sources such as lead and mercury by absorbing them onto its surface. This also removes odors and tastes from municipal sources like sewage plants.
- Reverse Osmosis – Removes any particles from your drinking source through a thin-film composite (TFC) membrane, which filters out 99% of impurities, including viruses and bacteria.
- Activated carbon – Removes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like pesticides from municipal sources like sewage plants; especially useful when removing chlorine odors from treated municipal supplies.
- Ultraviolet light – Kills bacteria in drinking sources such as open lakes or streams using UV radiation.
2. Boil the Water
Boiling water for at least 3 minutes is the first step to purifying contaminated water. Boiling will kill viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, which are the causes of most illnesses from drinking contaminated water. If you’re at a high altitude (above 8,000 feet), you’ll need to boil your water for an extra minute because it takes longer for water to reach boiling temperatures at those elevations.
If the water is cloudy or discolored (like tea), you should also boil it for at least 1 minute before using it as drinking water.
3. Use a Distillation System
A distillation system, or water purification device, is special equipment that uses heat to evaporate contaminated water and trap contaminants in a filter. The resulting clean water will then be sent down the drain where it can safely be disposed of.
It will take anywhere from 30 minutes – to 2 hours, depending on the size of your system and whether or not you include any pre-filters (which help remove larger particles in addition to chemicals). You should also replace filters once every three months, so if possible, try not to let them get too dirty before replacing them.
We hope that by learning about these causes of water contamination, you are now aware of the many ways that you can help keep our water clean and safe for everyone to use. You can also share this information with your family and friends so that they, too, can take action to protect our environment. Water is a vital resource for all life on Earth–let’s make sure it stays that way.
As an individual, you can take action in your everyday life to fight water pollution. You can start by reducing your carbon footprint and conserving energy. This will benefit the environment and save money on your utility bills.
You may also like: Role Of Waste Removal Experts For A Healthy Environment
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