Better or Worse? The Ramifications of Water Contamination

While there are plans in place by the Environmental Protection Agency for the conservation of clean water, there are still many contributing factors to water contamination. From big business runoff to the improper disposal of chemicals by average consumers, there is still a large amount of water pollution occurring. This pollution will eventually have major ramifications on the environment if the effort isn�t made to protect natural water sources below and above ground. Some of these ramifications can include:

General Lack of Use

One of the main things that can come from contamination of water is the eventual inability for anyone to use it. It becomes no good for drinking, recreation, agriculture, or industry when water is contaminated. This is mostly because of the main contaminant E. coli, which makes the water unable to be used by humans without making them sick. This means a lack in economy from having to spend more to find clean water as well as revenue lost from this lack of economy.

Diminished Aesthetic Quality

Aside from being unable to use the lakes, rivers, and streams that are contaminated, if the water pollution continues, it will also diminish the aesthetic quality of the water that is contaminated. Much of the beautiful landscape of the United States is made up of water landmarks that will eventually be marred by garbage in the water as well as cloudy water. When sediments leak into water, it makes it brown and no longer the pretty color that people find so beautiful and inviting. Sediments only leak into the water through pollution.

Destruction of Aquatic Life

A major part of the ramifications of extended pollution is the destruction of aquatic life. By destroying the water, the habitat of anything that lives in the water is going to die as well. The loss of these habitats not only means we lose the aquatic animals and plants that live there, but a loss of the animals for the whole world. The damage from the loss of the animals can never be restored.

Reduction in Reproduction

Contamination in water not only kills wildlife, but reduces their numbers by creating reductions in reproductions. This extends to humans as well, who come in contact with contaminated water. The reproductive system is a delicately balanced system within any animal, and any toxins introduced to the body by contaminated water will disrupt that balanced system. Contaminated water can also harm the unborn fetuses, resulting in mental retardation as well as physical deformities and higher stillborn rates.

Animal Deformities

Like other pollution, water contamination can not only harm the animal, but create deformities in not only fetuses, but adult animals. In the form of tumors and other deformities, animals suffer from contaminated water when it gets into their systems. These deformities not only make it harder for the animals survive, but also cause problems such as reductions in reproduction of healthy offspring and a glut of dead animals from a higher death rate.

Aquatic Dead Zones

An area of water with so little oxygen that it cannot support life is called an aquatic dead zone. These appear after algae blooms, which are spurts in plant growth and death that chokes the water after water contamination in the form of nutrients. These nutrients promote the plant growth, which means more plants grow and die, choking the water because the process uses oxygen. Fish and microorganisms that swim into these aquatic dead zones suffocate to death and continue to choke the water. These dead zones cannot be revived and end up spreading to other areas of water and contaminating those that had been alive before.

Poisoned Food Animals

Human beings can be affected yet again by water contamination by the poisoning of food animals. Food animals that drink contaminated water can become harmful to humans to eat as the contaminants in the water become harmful in the muscles of the animals, which are 75% water. These harmful poisons can not only make human beings sick, but cause deformities in the form of cancer or tumors and harm unborn fetuses in pregnant women. They can also affect the human reproductive system and make it harder to produce children, or children that are deformed in some way.

Spreads Disease

Prolonged water pollution also spreads disease. Deadly diseases like Cholera are spread through contaminated water and have been responsible for many of the most deadly pandemics in history. E. coli infection is another disease spread through contaminated water and is the number one reason why lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams are closed to recreational use. Without proper conservation of water purity, these diseases can affect not only humans but animals as well, and contribute to the other problems with sick animals.

Aside from the immediate environmental ramifications, prolonged water pollution can be the cause of many environmental problems. Even though there are protective measures in place for safe drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency, there are still pollution risks, and if these risks aren�t quelled, in the long run, they will permanently harm the environment and the above and below ground sources of drinking water.