Water Pollution Essay Research Paper Water PollutionWater

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Water Pollution Essay, Research Paper Water Pollution Water pollution has been an increasing problem over the last few years. Pollution itself is when a substance or energy is introduced into the soil, air, or water in a concentrate. Pollution comes in many forms; agricultural, urban runoff, industrial, sedimentary, animal wastes, and leeching from landfills/septic systems just to name a few. These pollutants are very detrimental to the environment. Whether they are alone or combined with another form of pollution they are very harmful. Over the last hundred years the problems with pollution have been increasing with time. This is due to both the increase in human population, and the increases in technology we have made as a society. If we plan on having our resources here

for many years to come we are going to have to make some drastic changes in the way we treat the earth, and these changes will have to start with our pollutants. Agricultural pollution is a very big contributor to water pollution. Problems we see with agriculture are applications of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides. We have made vast improvements in the types of chemicals we are using, as to how environmentally friendly they are. Yet even today the effects of these chemicals are very harsh, for instance: The annual total output of pesticides in the United States is more than 2.5 billion pounds with 1500 active ingredients in some 45,000 products. Each year, approximately one billion pounds of pesticides containing more than 600 active ingredients, are applied to farms

and gardens. Of this quantity, an estimated of 3.5 to 21 million pounds reach surface waters before degrading. (Rural Groundwater Contamination) And not all of those 3.5 to 21 million pounds is removed in runoff, some of it leeches into the ground where it contaminates the groundwater supplies. This fact is very disturbing considering the fact that a large number of people that live in rural America. These people rely on these groundwater supplies for drinking water. According to the EPA at least 10% of wells contain pesticide contamination. (Water Pollution #2) These numbers don t even include the amount of chemical fertilizers that are added to fields throughout the year. When you add that number to the amount of pesticides, it becomes staggering. In 1985 the amount of

fertilizer added to America s fields was 11.5 million tons (Rural Groundwater). Not only do these chemicals leech in to the soil, but they are also swept off the soils by rain and wind. When these fertilizers reach the water there is a sudden boom in plant growth. When the plants die, bacteria that need oxygen to live eat their bodies. This starts to deplete the amount of oxygen in the water for other fish and animals to live and breath, and they end up dying. Besides the chemical contamination on the farm there are major problems with animal wastes. Over the last 30 or so years there has been an increased demand for food. Foods like pork, chicken, turkey, and beef. With the demand for meats, there is also an increased demand for grains to feed these animals. So more land is

needed to grow the feed, less space is available for the feedlots. More and more of these feedlots have been popping up over the landscape. And the amounts of animals crammed into the small spaces are also increasing. There can be as few as 50 to as many as 7 million in a single confinement (Boss Hog). The animals in these confinements make much more waste than a human does. For instance, a single dairy cow can produce up to 120 lbs of wet manure a day (EPA). Think about the total amount of wastes produced in a day at one of theseconfinements. A 1000 head dairy cattle farm would yield around 120,000 lbs of waste per day. This waste is either pumped into bins, earthen lagoons, or spread onto fields as fertilizer. These waste storage facilities pose a great threat to the