It threatens the health, humans, plants, and animals. All water pollution is dangerous to the health of living organisms, but sea and river pollution can be especially harmful to the health of humans and animals. Rivers and seas are used as main sources of potable water by populations all over the world. Another serious result of this pollution is the effect of this pollution on trade in the polluted areas. This research studies cases which reflect different causes of sea and river pollution, how serious the pollution is and the effect of this pollution on trade, and the possible solutions applied by people and governments to this problem.
Heavy metal contamination is a growing issue as well. Mercury levels in certain seafood species, especially in tuna, are currently above average and even some places around the world have tried to warn the people from consuming it. Ocean pollution can overpower marines’ life, and alter food web dynamics. It can also endanger human health and result in great economic loss for fisheries, tourism workers and others. There are many different ways in which people can get sick from ocean pollution.
There are many causes of water pollution, and the effects on the environment are directly related to the primary cause of the pollution. Therefore, each cause has to be examined for harmful effects. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration states nutrient pollution, "can lead to more serious problems such as low levels of oxygen dissolved in the water" (3). The dissolved oxygen levels being low lead to aquatic life dying. Nutrient pollution also can cause algae blooms which cause serious environmental problems affecting aquatic ecosystems, and which can cause dangerous health issues for animals and humans.
Fish, plants, water and other organisms are living in our ecosystems. This type of pollution is not only harming them now, but will continue to harm them in the future. There are many ways how water pollution is harming our ecosystem, whether it is oil spills, marine dumping, nuclear waste, or atmospheric pollution, it is all harming water. Underground storage leakages play a role, yes, they are useful in many ways, but they are also very harmful. “Over time the steel corrodes and causes leakages, affecting soil and groundwater” (“Underground Storage Leakages” 1).
Key factors in economic development are manufacturing, farming, and harnessing energy. Although these factors have consequences to their exploitation such as water used to produce steel is water that 663 million people who don’t have access to could use to drink. Realizing toxic waste, a by-product of manufacturing something into the Oceans can disrupting the balance of the ecosystem. Side effects like fertilizer flowing into rivers and lakes throwing the ecosystem of balance and causing eutrophication to occur, making the water dangerous to drink. Another factor in the depletion and deterioration of our water resources is from harnessing energy, hydroelectricity uses a dam to harness the water flow to produce energy which disrupts the balance of the river and lakes.
Even biodegradable pollutants can damage a water supply for long periods and the life forms within the water start to suffer damage due to pollution. Lakes are particularly susceptible to pollution because they cannot cleanse themselves as rapidly as rivers or oceans. In recent years, waste treatment plants have developed ways to deal with water contamination. Some places, however, still pollute streams by allowing raw sewage to run into them. Septic tanks and cesspools may also pollute the groundwater and neighboring streams.
Invasive species can be a plant or an animal, such as a mussel, fish, weed, or snail. Some effects of invasive species are that, they can kill native fish, destroy spawning beds, and cause much more environmental harm. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, DNR, has been doing studies to show the harm of these species for example, the DNR set out 32 boats on Minnesota's most popular lakes such as Gull, Alexander, and many more to look at the spawning beds. Their research showed that many invasive species have destroyed all key areas (MN DNR Article 2). This brings in the big question, what are some better methods to stop and control invasive species?
Not only do outputs from aquaculture systems dissolve into adjacent waters, but collect as insoluble debris underneath nets and cages. Effluents, feces, excess feed, nutrients, and additional organic matter coat the base of bodies of water in which the livestock are being held, and alter the composition of sea floors (Ackefors & Magnus, 1990). These alterations have the capacity to prevent aquatic plants from growing, thus reducing the amount of available food for wild species (Science for Environment Policy, 2013). According to fishermen in the New Brunswick Bay in Canada, the effects of pollution caused by aquaculture are evident by the smells of sewage and rotten fish that linger in the area, discolored water spreading from nets and cages, and population changes in native species (Wiber, Young, & Wilson, 2012). Heightened levels of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus commonly result from aquaculture, and can have serious impacts on the health of aquatic ecosystems.
The lakes have been greatly affected by pollution, causing a dead zone in Lake Erie. Bacteria has been found in the lakes that can cause sickness in humans. Ballast water from incoming cargo ships have also brought in non-native organisms. Run-off from nearby agriculture, industrial and urban areas have detrimental effects on the marine life and can also cause human sickness. The fight for the Laurentian Great Lakes survival is an ongoing battle that will hopefully prove successful.
At high levels, nutrients can over stimulate the growth of aquatic plants and algae. Excessive growth of these types of organisms consequently clogs our waterways, use up dissolved oxygen as they decompose, and block light to deeper waters. [David Krantz] This could be very harmful to aquatic organisms as it affects the respiration ability of fish and other creatures of the sea. Pollution is also caused when silt and other suspended solids, such as soil, washoff plowed fields, construction and logging sites, urban areas, and eroded river banks when it rains. [David Krantz] Pollution in the form of organic material enters waterways in many different forms as sewage, as leaves and grass clippings, or as runoff from livestock feedlots and pastures.