Water Pollution Line Graph
Water pollution is a major concern for citizens, and good water quality is essential for human health. It is caused by both natural and human activities, such as animal factory farms, municipal sewage, industrial wastes, and chemicals.
Graphs help experts understand and communicate water pollution data. Biologists used different graphs to summarize ecological data and communicate with engineers who managed the agencies that controlled water pollution.
There are many causes of water pollution, including fertilizers, pesticides, and animal wastes that wash into rivers and streams. Runoff from farms and sewage treatment plants concentrates nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which promote the growth of microorganisms that deplete the water of oxygen (see eutrophication). Chemicals from factories and cars can also pollute water by entering the environment as gas or settling on the bottom.
Some pollutants enter the water directly, such as acid rain from chemical spills and the toxic metals leaking from power plants. Others enter the water indirectly, such as the silt that washes into bodies of water from erosion and the organic wastes dumped by industry and individuals.
Nonpoint source pollution, which comes from dispersed sources, is the largest contributor to contamination of the nation’s waterways. It is more difficult to regulate than point source pollution, which is attributed to one specific source. Biologists used graphs to communicate ecological data to engineers and others who managed public agencies responsible for water pollution control.
As cities grow and industrialize, pollutants enter water systems from human activities. These chemicals can harm people who drink the water and cause diseases in fish and other organisms. Some pollutants are soluble, such as metals and organic pollutants, while others are insoluble, such as oil.
While a few natural events can contribute to pollution, most occur due to human activities. These activities include mining, farming, and power plant cooling systems. These sources of pollution can leave behind chemical residues, such as heavy metals and pesticides, or stress conditions, including changes in pH, hypoxia, turbidity, and temperature.
The Flint water crisis reflects Americans’ heightened concern about drinking-water quality. While Gallup has documented higher levels of concern about other environmental issues, such as global warming and the loss of tropical rainforests, drinking-water quality has been one of the most persistent concerns in recent decades. This is partly because drinking-water pollution has a direct effect on the health of populations, which affects economic and social well-being.
Water pollution is when harmful substances contaminate a body of water. This can be caused by anything from chemicals and bacteria to pathogens, sediment and trash. Water is especially vulnerable to pollution because it is a universal solvent. It can dissolve more substances than any other liquid on Earth.
Chemicals are the most common type of water pollution. These chemicals can be anything from metals used in industrial processes to pesticides and fertilizers used in agriculture. These chemicals are washed into the water and can affect humans, animals and plants that use it.
Thermal pollution is also a common type of water pollution. This is when the temperature of the water changes. This can be caused by power plants discharging cooling water into rivers, or by global warming. These changes in temperature can kill fish and other aquatic organisms. These changes can also cause diseases in humans who drink the water. This is why it is so important to prevent water pollution.
The availability of fresh water is becoming a worldwide concern. Rising global temperatures deplete water resources, and sewage and chemical wastes pollute groundwater, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Some industrial activities contaminate water, such as the dumping of organic residue from oil and gas drilling and the dumping of chemicals used in mining, petroleum refineries, iron or steel mills, pulp and paper factories and food processing plants. Many of these substances are toxic to humans. Drinking contaminated water can cause illnesses such as cancer and hormone disruption.
In the early 1950s, biologists who worked within the Public Health Service experimented with ways of presenting their data on pollution in streams. They tried to build upon the success of Streeter and Phelps’s graphical method, which involved superimposing biological data over an oxygen sag curve. But this strategy backfired. Engineers who examined these graphs might think that the biologists merely confirmed the validity of their favorite quantifiable indicator, dissolved oxygen.