Water Pollution’s Toxic Effects

Erin Brennan
Professor deForest
Math 33
12 December 2017

Write and Respond 2

            Throughout this course, I have found myself in awe of how many environmental issues I was unaware of. I have learned of many problems regarding ecological sustainability during Math 33, however, in my opinion, the biggest problem our planet should be concerned about is water pollution. The reason I believe this is because water is Earth’s most sacred resource. Most people do not realize just how important it is to keep our water clean, which may be because the majority of us have access to clean water right in our household. However, there are over 700 million people in this world who are without clean water (CDC). I had no idea that such an abundant number of people in this world were unable to acquire pure water. It was a shock to me when learning this statistic, solely because I know that 70% of our earth is covered in water; so how could so many be left without it? (CEF). Realizing how this specific issue is considerably problematic for every living person and organism, I have become more concerned with how our bodies of water are being treated worldwide. My curiosity about this complication led to my further investigation on what exactly contaminates our water.

There are many different types of water pollution that alter our clean water supply; such as chemical, radiological and biological pollutants (Environmental Pollution Centers). Many of us are unaware of just how much the water we use on a daily basis is affected by these contaminants. The water we drink, bathe in, swim in, and even some our food is at risk due to dangerous toxins found within it; which ultimately puts our health at risk. Although our bodies are well equipped to fight off exposure to small amounts of chemicals we ingest, as time goes on, and the more we neglect the fact that our water supply becomes contaminated every day, the worse off we will be in the future. In other words, the pollutants might not impact our health immediately, but over time the exposure to harmful toxins can lead to serious illness and possibly even death in some cases. I believe this is a major environmental danger, because not only does it affect us humans, it also puts our wildlife at risk. To me, this is the most devastating aspect of water pollution. Most of the time water is contaminated by humans, and countless poor animals are suffering from humans lack of consideration. Not all contaminations of water are caused by people, however, the main sources of pollution are often caused by industrial waste, and can be referred to as “point sources”. Point sources mean that the pollutants came from an individual source, while non-point comes from multiple sources.

Regardless of who or where the pollution is coming from, there are many ways every individual can preserve clean water. I feel more knowledgeable about this topic from just a few hours of researching and attempting to find ways of managing my personal responsibility for environmental issues; starting with water preservation. The most obvious way to protect our water supply is by reducing the use of it. Another great way to sustain clean water is to always dispose of harmful materials correctly. Paint, Oil, and Medicine are the more common toxins that humans pollute our waters with. There are disposal areas in almost every community, where these types of waste can be properly taken care of (SFGate).

There are further ways that people can help, such as advocating for clean water in their local communities. Starting small and spreading awareness about this crippling issue can help people realize what they may be doing wrong, and hopefully, correct their harmful actions. If everyone were to recognize the detrimental destruction that water pollution causes, it could lead to further awareness, and hopefully a change in the way large industries dispose of their hazardous products. With industrial waste being a large source of our world’s water pollution, communicating how much damage these companies cause, could produce dramatic changes in further attempts to purify our water. Thus, becoming a step closer to helping those who had little to no means of it, obtain access to fresh water.

We all know that having clean water is a necessity to living a long and happy life. If we neglect the reasons for having a clean water deficiency, the issue of water pollution will only grow larger, and consequently, create a more severe problem for our world. Everyone should take action in preventing these negative occurrences, so we can all see a better tomorrow.





“What Is Water Pollution?” What Is Water Pollution | Environmental Pollution Centers,     www.environmentalpollutioncenters.org/water/.


“Global Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,          Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Apr. 2016,                   www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/wash_statistics.html.


“Sources and Causes of Water Pollution.” Conserve Energy Future, 3 Jan. 2017, www.conserve-   energy-future.com/sources-and-causes-of-water-pollution.php.


“How Does Water Pollution Affect the Environment?” How Does Water Pollution Affect the           Environment? Pollution Solutions Online, 7 May 2016, www.pollutionsolutions-                  online.com/news/water-wastewater/17/breaking-news/how-does-water-pollution-affect-  the-environment/38029.


“Ten Ways to Keep Our Water Clean Globally.” Home Guides | SF Gate,



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2 Responses to Water Pollution’s Toxic Effects

  1. hzw5186 says:

    Hi Erin!

    I think it is really great that you are passionate about water pollution and how it will affect us in the future as well as how it is already affecting us. I agree with you when you say that most people are not aware or think about this issue very often as they probably should. I also found it helpful to learn more about the specifics that deal with water pollution from various lectures and guest speakers that were provided to us in class. It’s definitely sad that most people do not think twice about this issue and let it slowly disappear. Take Flint Michigan for an example. This situation is something that has happened so recently but now you hear nothing about it. It is honestly shocking how fast these things disappear. After reading your W&R2, I feel like you gained a lot of interesting and new information about this topic, which is great to see. It’s great that you listed your various sources as well! It’s cool you have done additional research. It was also interesting to read about ways you have learned to address this issue and how other people can be advocates of clean water. Good Job!


  2. rjh314 says:

    Reading your essay, I was impressed by the amount of external research you put into this assignment. I was particularly struck by your reference to the two different categories of water pollution vectors (point sources and non-point sources). While I was already of the opinion that industrial waste was by far the biggest source of water pollution, I did not realize that there was an entire categorization system for it. If the primary cause of large-scale water pollution can indeed be traced back to specific incidents or waste dumps, then perhaps there is a legislative solution. If we can effectively deter corporations from dumping toxic waste through legal means, then we can essentially eliminate the problem of point source pollution (outside of accidents).

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