Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Biologically Dead

by Antonio C. Antonio
October 16, 2014

What is water pollution?  Water pollution is any physical, biological, or chemical change in water quality that adversely affects living organisms or makes fresh water unsuitable.

What are the parameters in classifying fresh water?  These are: (1) Dissolved Oxygen [DO]; (2) pH; (3) Biochemical Oxygen Demand [BOD]; and, (4) Total Coliform.  This set of parameters is important in determining the degree and/or level of water pollution and the mitigation (meaning: the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something) required to address the problem.  However, pollution of any degree or level is still considered water pollution. 

What are the sources of water pollution?  Water pollutants come in the form of organic wastes, toxic and persistent substances, radioactive substances, plant nutrients, and sediments.  Unrestricted increase in nutrients or organic matter often causes microorganisms to proliferate; including pathogenic ones. 

There are two types of water pollution sources.  Most “point” water pollutants come from:
  1. Runoff from roads;
  2. Household and residential waste;
  3. Manufacturing discharges;
  4. Industrial waste water discharges;
  5. Public sewage;
  6. Septic tanks; and,
  7. Mine tailings.

“Non-point” sources of water pollution come from agricultural farming areas in the form of pesticides and fertilizers run off and leaching.

When rain water, considered pure, falls back to Earth and run off or percolates (meaning: filter gradually through a porous surface or substance) it eventually gets stored as fresh ground water in aquifers (meaning: a body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater).  When ground water is pumped out for use, it now can be contaminated and polluted.  “Water acts as an effective medium of pollutants.”  (Antonio, 2014, “How Much Water Do We Have?”, http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-much-water-do-we-have.html)

Fresh water sources such as esteros, urban waterways, streams, rivers and lakes are traditionally being used as dumping sites for effluents (meaning: Liquid waste or sewage discharged into a river or the sea) from all sources (industrial and residential).  Many of these water systems, contain high concentrations of toxic effluents, very high BOD and low DO, are considered biologically dead.

Just my little thoughts…

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