In this Study Session, you have learned that:
- Water pollution is any contamination of water with substances that are detrimental to human, plant or animal health.
- Water pollutants can be of point or non-point source, depending on whether substances are discharged directly into a body of water or indirectly from diffuse sources.
- Water pollutants include sediments and suspended solids, organic matter, biological pollutants, plant nutrients and chemical pollutants.
- Biological pollutants include bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths. They mainly enter the water through faeces from infected people and animals, and are the cause of many water-related diseases.
- Major sources of water pollution include human excreta; manufacturing and industrial plants; animal rearing and agricultural activities; landfill sites; and urban surface water run-off.
- Measures to protect water sources from faecal pollution include ending open defecation, the proper siting of latrines and septic tanks, and careful operation of sewage treatment works.
- The appropriate use of fertilisers and pesticides will minimise water pollution caused by agriculture.
- Selective planting of trees and vegetation can help stabilise soil and prevent erosion.
- Pollution control should ideally take place at the point of origin.
- Regulations control the type and volume of treated effluent that may be discharged to the environment.
Last modified: Tuesday, 2 August 2016, 3:48 AM