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Water Pollution
Environmental Pollution

Water Pollution

What is Water Pollution?

Water pollution is the presence in water bodies (including surface water and groundwater) of toxic chemicals and/or biological agents that exceed what is naturally found in water and may pose a threat to human health and/or the environment. Additionally, water pollution may include chemicals exclusively introduced into the water bodies due to human activities, in which case any amount of those chemicals detected in water denotes pollution, regardless of the harm they may pose to human health and the environment. Many of the chlorinated solvents commonly used in industry (such as PCE, TCE, 1,1,1-TCA) are examples of such chemicals polluting our waters exclusively due to human activities. Another example is MTBE (Methyl-tert-butyl-ether), a gasoline oxygenate that is currently banned in the U.S. Regardless of their provenance, the chemicals or biological agents causing water pollution are generically referred to as water pollutants.

Any water body can become polluted, regardless on its size and/or location. This includes lakes from remote areas or huge water bodies such as Colorado river. This is due to the atmospheric transport of pollutants over large areas and deposition with precipitation water. Basically, the groundwater and surface water including swimming pools, ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, seas, and oceans may become polluted. Obviously, the bigger the water body is, the shorter the time required for natural cleaning the pollution and recovery. This is mostly due to the quick diffusion and dissipation of contamination and due to the faster natural degradation and attenuation processes.

How does Water Pollution Affect Us?

Water pollution is a serious problem for human health. This is because we may get exposed to polluted water in various ways, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Drinking the polluted water
  • Bathing or showering with the polluted water
  • Swimming in the polluted water
  • Breathing the vapors of a polluted water while sitting next to a polluted water source
  • Consuming polluted food (meat and/or vegetables) affected by polluted water
  • Consuming meat from animals fed with affected food (e.g., vegetables irrigated with polluted water or grown in an area with polluted groundwater)

The effects of water pollution may appear immediately after exposure and be more or less violent in the case of drinking water with high amount of pollutants. At the same time, the effects may appear some time after a repetitive exposure to water contaminated with lower amounts of pollutants. Health effects from simple intoxication, stomach ach, till death or deathly disease may occur.

You can learn more on all these, along with various water pollution effects and various ways to prevent exposure to water pollution if you click on the links below:

Water Pollution Causes

Types of Water Pollution

Water Pollution Effects

Water Pollution Facts and Water Pollution Prevention


If you believe you have been or are currently exposed to air pollutants (indoor), please contact environmental pollution centers as you may be eligible for compensation.

If you are the owner of a house or business with air pollution problems you may face liability issues and may be asked to characterize and remediate this situation. However with appropriate legal advice these may be avoided. Please contact environmental pollution centers to evaluate your case and find legal advice.