RIVERS OF TOXIC CHEMICALS

Wouldn't you think that humans would treat their limited fresh water with respect and protect it from all contaminants?  Unfortunately, this is not so. 

Earth's fresh water resources are dwindling at an alarming rate.   Increased population and water wasting are two major factors contributing to the scarcity of this precious resource, and there are other reasons that usable water is becoming so scarce.  In some areas of the world, pollution levels in fresh water resources are so high that the water can no longer be used even for industrial purposes.  So many toxins are being released into rivers, lakes and leaking into groundwater resources that the water is unusable and dangerous.  Water is being poisoned by untreated sewage, chemicals, heavy metals, fuel leakages, dumped garbage and trash, acid rain, and chemicals used in farming which leak into rivers and groundwater.

In the picture below you can see that something is wrong.
The coloration is not normal and there is no sign of life.

But, you can't always see or smell dangerous toxins! 

Deadly toxic spill killing all plant and animal life

Our waters become contaminated from the dumping, burying and spilling of toxic materials into the soil or directly into our waterways.  The destruction from toxic chemicals and waste into our waters is not just contained in the vicinity where they were released.  It spreads out into the soil in every direction and permeates into the groundwaters which travel far.  The toxins continue downstream, bringing death, not only to the native vegetation, but to animals that live in the water or to those that stop by for a drink of water.  And the dangerous chemical soup that seeps into our groundwater systems endangers human lives.  In those countries where the people must rely on wells and natural systems for their drinking water, toxic pollution of their water supplies is totally devastating and can cause a whole area to become uninhabitable.

Humans are destroying their own fresh water supplies which they depend upon for life!

TYPES OF IMPURITIES which can be found in water, making it unsafe to drink:

Microorganisms such as algae, bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and waste products from living and dying organisms

Particulate matter such as clay, sand and silt

Dissolved solids and gases from man-made chemicals (such as pesticides, herbicides, detergent residues), and rocks and minerals (such as calcium carbonate, nitrates, phosphates, silicates, sodium chloride, sulfates and others).

Carbon dioxide is the main ionized gas which contaminates water.

Man-made objects, trash, garbage

Oil



FLUSH GORDON'S DIRTY WATER PAGE
  
Enter Water Pollution and How We Prevent It by clicking "Next."
What is Water Pollution?  How is wastewater treated to prevent pollution from occurring?  How is Pollution Measured?

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
LIST OF SOURCES OF GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
Graphic of Groundwater Contamination

FINDING OUT ABOUT WATER POLLUTION (UK Rivers Network)
Links to many online resources for information on pollution of the world's oceans and rivers. Scroll through lists and also click on Education and Information on left side.
Check out the picture on their main page!

WATER POLLUTION (Infoplease.com)
POISONING OF FRESH WATER SUPPLIES CAUSING WATER CRISIS 
Expanding population, overpumping of groundwater supplies, and massive pollution have caused a severe water shortage in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste and harmful chemicals are dumped directly into the Buriganga river from tanneries and industries that line its banks. (Planetark 12/13/01)

LIVESTOCK DAMAGE
According to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, between 70-80 percent of all the wildlife in the western U.S. depend on stream and riparian ecosystems.  The study found that livestock grazing damaged about 80 percent of this ecosystem habitat.  They eat and trample vegetation, create sedimentation of waters, break down embankments, cause erosion, pollute waters and watersheds, destroy habitat, cause species decline, and drive away smaller creatures.

So, what's the beef?

 


Poisonous waterways of Venice

Read about the "poison tour"
 through Venice's murky waters

PlanetArk 


 


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