Water Pollution Pictures
The damage done to our water systems leaves behind some shocking water pollution pictures. Everything from major oil spills and chemical runoffs to littering has an adverse and negative effect on this precious resource. Cleanup efforts are often a long and grueling process.
When an oil spill occurs from an oil rig or boat, the result is often devastating to the affected water and the wildlife around it.
The spilled oil spreads quickly over the surface of the water, making the water itself unsuitable for consumption or use. Fish and animals in the area often become soaked in oil or consume it, causing adverse effects to their health. Plant life becomes choked in oil and often dies quickly.
Indirect Water Pollution
Society causes a large amount of indirect water pollution, known as non-point source pollution. Non-point source pollutants occur when chemicals, such as the fertilizer used on crops, run off into streams, rivers or lakes.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 40 percent of the bodies of water they surveyed were unfit for swimming or fishing.
Oceans, lakes and rivers near major urban areas are often filled with litter. Large amounts of hazardous and non-hazardous waste are dumped into bodies of water as a way of easy disposal.
Shorelines are often flooded with trash, broken bottles plastiic bottles, and other waste left on the beaches and carried out to sea by the tides.
The Effect on the Wildlife
Water pollution has a direct and negative effect on the wildlife in and around the water. Oil or chemical spills kill the fish or sicken them. Mammals and birds living around the polluted water are also affected.
Beavers have used litter to make dams, which can be dangerous to their health. Birds can become trapped in piles of floating trash or are unable to fly after coming into contact with an oil slick.
The Effect on Human Beings
Not only does water pollution lead to poor water quality and loss of wildlife, but some bodies of water can become so polluted that they pose a health risk to society.
Consuming polluted water can cause severe nausea and other internal health problems. Swimming in or even encountering severely polluted water can cause everything from mild headaches to breathing problems or severe skin rashes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a cleanup response for polluted waters in the United States, such as ocean shorelines.
The EPA works with federal and local agencies to implement cleanup plans and reduce negative environmental effects.
These responses cover everything from using scientists to measure water pollution levels, to taking water pollution photos and organizing cleanup efforts.
Cleanup by Volunteers
In areas that have been greatly effected by water pollution, volunteer groups often step in to assist with cleanup. Groups like Project Clean Water organize events to clean beaches and shorelines, while veterinarians work with volunteers to help save the wildlife affected by the pollution.