Water pollution is an issue in the United States which is undeniable. It has many causes, from simple neglect to careless waste disposal and excessive use of pesticides and chemicals. As seen in recent years, water pollution has proven devastating to ecosystems, wildlife populations, and human health. Every six Americans get sick from drinking contaminated water each year.
Here are seven tips to counter water pollution:
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1. Support Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment is essential to the health of your environment. To ensure it, the communities must treat and remove pollutants from their wastewater before releasing it into rivers, streams, and oceans.
The process works like this: Wastewater first flows through a screen where large objects such as rags, bottles, or sticks are removed. Then solids are separated using screens and centrifuges, which spin at high speeds to send them down the drain while keeping liquids in suspension in the water column. Next comes disinfection with chlorine or ultraviolet light.
Finally comes the oxygenation process. It occurs during which the microorganisms break down any remaining organic material, so nothing fouls up your drinking water supply after being discharged.
2. Reduce the Use of Fertilizers
The market for fertilizers in the US was valued at 19.66 billion USD in 2022, and it is anticipated that it will grow at a CAGR of 5.39% to reach 26.94 billion USD in 2028. If you’re a gardener or have a large lawn, you know that fertilizers are essential to maintaining your plants and grass. However, you must use them carefully. Fertilizers contain nitrates, a chemical element that can harm humans and animals if consumed in high amounts.
Nitrates also cause algae blooms in lakes, rivers, and oceans. The phenomenon occurs when an abundance of phytoplankton grows at the surface of bodies of water. Algae blooms can lead to major problems for ecosystems surrounding these bodies of water.
For example, they block sunlight from reaching aquatic plants below the surface. As a result, animals may not be able to get enough oxygen from their habitat. In addition, it can lead to mass die-offs among marine life.
3. Make Yourself Aware of the Water Contamination Lawsuit Near You
Another way you can help prevent water contamination in the future is by becoming aware of the existing lawsuits. Those lawsuits have been filed against companies or individuals found guilty of polluting water.
If a company is found guilty, its money should go towards studying and researching ways to ensure this doesn’t happen again. That said, lawsuits are also crucial because they help clean up existing pollution.
Furthermore, some lawsuits are filed by ordinary citizens who want their voices heard through their litigation actions. An excellent example of this would be the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, where thousands of veterans were affected by toxic chemicals contained in Camp Lejeune.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including degreasers, dry cleaning solvents, and almost 70 other hazardous agents, are mostly to blame for these. It sparked the formation of the lawsuit, which has since shown to be valuable in aiding people in achieving justice.
As per a news article published in Reuters, since President Joe Biden signed the legislation, the US Navy reported that about 5,000 administrative claims had been filed. It is a good sign of development for a good cause.
4. Be More Conscious About Your Food Choices
One of the easiest ways to reduce your contribution to water pollution is to be more conscious of your food choices.
- Avoid foods that are packaged in plastic. It includes anything found at the grocery store or even at a restaurant.
- Avoid processed foods that come in cans, even if labeled “BPA-free.”
- Try not to buy imported items or anything that has traveled long distances before it reaches you.
- Avoid food with a long shelf life because bacteria grow faster if it isn’t eaten immediately.
- When shopping for produce, ask your local grocer about its origin and ensure that it was grown locally.
5. Switch to Eco-Friendly Products
The best way to reduce water pollution is by reducing the chemicals and harmful ingredients used. When you buy food, ensure it is organic and uses no harmful chemicals in its production process. When you buy products, ensure they are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) in March 2022 published an alarming report. According to it, a total of more than 700,000 miles of waterways, or nearly 51% of evaluated river and stream miles, have been negatively impacted by pollution. Also, to reduce water pollution, avoid buying disposable goods such as paper towels, which are not recyclable or reusable.
Instead, try using reusable items like cloth napkins instead of paper napkins when eating at a restaurant. It reduces both your waste output and increases demand for environmentally friendly products by showing businesses that people care about sustainability.
6. Promote the 3RS
The 3Rs are a method of waste management that can help reduce pollution in your local waterways. The 3Rs stand for Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It is an easy concept to understand:
- Reduce the amount of plastic you use by buying products with less packaging or buying bulk at stores.
- Reuse what you can: avoid single-use plastics like plastic water bottles, straws, and bags as much as possible. Instead of throwing away your used plastic bags after shopping, wash them out and reuse them.
- Recycle what’s left over: recycle anything made out of paper or metal instead of putting it in landfills or burning it up as trash which also causes pollution.
7. Practice the Right Disposal Technique
A crucial thing you can do to reduce water pollution is to practice the right disposal technique. When it comes to waste disposal, you need to be careful about many things. For example, if you have paint or pesticides in your house, you should ensure that they don’t get into the hands of children or pets.
If there are chemicals in your home, it’s best not to pour them down the drain because they could contaminate groundwater sources upstream from your property. In addition, you must ensure all other types of waste, such as plastic bags, are properly disposed of at designated drop-off points. It disallows these wastes so they don’t end up in rivers and streams.
Water Pollution is a Significant Problem, but These Steps Can Reduce It
Water pollution is a serious problem, and educating yourself about it is crucial. There are many ways to help reduce water pollution, including using less energy, recycling, and taking shorter showers.
You can take these steps toward making a difference today by implementing these tips in your own life. You can also help by educating others about how they can do their part to protect the planet’s precious resources for generations to come.