Water Pollution Filthy Essay Research Paper In

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Water Pollution (Filthy) Essay, Research Paper In the beginning, the problem was very clear– water pollution was visible to everyone in the nation. In 1969 we saw the Cuyahoga River in Ohio burst into flames. Historic Boston Harbor was a cesspool, and so was the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Lake Erie was declared dead and the 1969 oil spill off scene in Santa Barbara, California, contributed to the public outrage and the call for immediate reforms. Water pollution is the introduction into fresh or ocean waters of chemical, physical, or biological material that degrades the quality of the water and affects the organisms living in it. Water provides for use in homes and industries, for irrigation, for extinguishing fires, for street cleaning, for carrying wastes to

treatment facilities, and for many other purposes. The three most important factors in any water supply are its quality, the quantities available, and the location of the water supply relative to the points of use. Each type of water use has its own prerequisites. Food processing plants, for example, need large volumes and high water quality; waste conveyance systems require only volume. When the Clean Water Act first became a law in 1972, it focused on the most visible an repugnant water pollution sources – sewage outfalls, industrial waste discharges, and other “point sources,” so named because the pollution that comes from them can be traced to one place and then easily controlled. But the drafters of the original Clean Water Act largely overlooked non-point sources of

water pollution. Major sources of non-point pollution include runoff from streets and lawns, erosion from disturbed hillsides, and use of agricultural pesticides, fertilizers, and manure. Because of their scattered sources, these types of pollution can be difficult to control, but their effects can be seen in bodies of water across the continent. The risks and hazards of pollution have become very clear across the nation as the problem has progressed. “The oceans are the planet s last great living wilderness, man s only remaining frontier on earth, and perhaps his last chance to produce himself a rational species.” John L. Cullney(www.epa.gov(#9)). Nowhere have the problems been more studied or reported than in the Great Lakes. Fish contamination in Lake Ontario, for

instance, stems from many of the most notorious contaminants: PCBs, mercury and pesticides like DDT, the by-products of industry and agriculture. The EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) lists 70 “Organic Priority Pollutants and Pesticides” and 18 “Priority Pollutant Metals” of concern to the fishing public. The roll call includes other noxious compounds like dioxin, chlordane, dieldrin, toxaphene, arsenic and selenium. “The crisis of our diminishing water resources is just as severe (if less obviously immediate) as any wartime crisis we have ever faced. Our survival is just as much at stake as it was in the time of Pear Harbor, or the Argonne, or Gettysburg, or Sara tog.)” Jim Wright, U.S. Representative.(www.epa.gov(#9)) . Fisherman and their families who eat

mercury-tainted fish are susceptible to nervous disorders and kidney dysfunction. Pesticides are strongly suspected of causing cancer and genetic disorders in children. The only confirmed effects of dioxin in humans are skin disorders, but in a variety of lab animals it is lethal. PCBs cause liver disease and nervous-system disorders and are also suspected of causing reproductive and developmental problems. Pregnant women who eat fish contaminated with PCBs show increased anemia and are predisposed to disease, and their children — exposed to PCBs in the womb or through breastfeeding– are prone to developmental disorders. “Children of a culture born in a water-rich environment, we have never really learned how important water is to us. We understand it, but we don not