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What are the four main sources of water pollution?

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mirandaclever123 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 25, 2011 at 5:19 AM via web

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What are the four main sources of water pollution?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 25, 2011 at 6:58 AM (Answer #1)

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According to eNotes sources, the primary causes of water pollution are pathogens, organic and inorganic contaminants, macroscopic, and thermal pollutants. Examples of organic contamination include detergents, insecticides, petroleum and other industrial solvents. Inorganic contamination can come from acidic buildup, chemical waste, fertilizers and sediment. Macroscopic pollution (often called "floatables") is usally caused by large objects found in the water, such as marine debris (or even shipwrecks) and trash from runoff. Thermal pollution occurs from a change in water temperature caused by humans. Examples include coolants released by power plants or by urban runoff.

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 25, 2011 at 6:59 AM (Answer #2)

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According to eNotes sources, the primary causes of water pollution are pathogens, organic and inorganic contaminants, macroscopic, and thermal pollutants. Examples of organic contamination include detergents, insecticides, petroleum and other industrial solvents. Inorganic contamination can come from acidic buildup, chemical waste, fertilizers and sediment. Macroscopic pollution (often called "floatables") is usally caused by large objects found in the water, such as marine debris (or even shipwrecks) and trash from runoff. Thermal pollution occurs from a change in water temperature caused by humans. Examples include coolants released by power plants or by urban runoff.

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 25, 2011 at 7:01 AM (Answer #3)

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According to eNotes sources, the primary causes of water pollution are pathogens, organic and inorganic contaminants, macroscopic, and thermal pollutants. Examples of organic contamination include detergents, insecticides, petroleum and other industrial solvents. Inorganic contamination can come from acidic buildup, chemical waste, fertilizers and sediment. Macroscopic pollution (often called "floatables") is usally caused by large objects found in the water, such as marine debris (or even shipwrecks) and trash from runoff. Thermal pollution occurs from a change in water temperature caused by humans. Examples include coolants released by power plants or by urban runoff.

 

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pixiedust925 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted June 14, 2011 at 4:04 AM (Answer #4)

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In the previous answers the four causes are pathogens. organic and inorganic contaminants, macroscopic and thermal pollutants. Pathogens are microorganisms that can cause and spread diseases. An example for this would be eutrophication. When we use fertilizers and other substances on farmlands some of the chemicals contaminate nearby water sources through run-off.  This causes the phytoplankton in the water to grow rapidly and this leads to algal bloom. Algal bloom is not good as it uses up all of the oxygen that is needed by the flora and fauna of the water. It blocks the sunlight that might be needed for some photosynthetic plants and organisms. The algae might even produce toxins that are very harmful and can affect any animal that feeds on them. So that is one way the water can be polluted and dangerous for consumption.

Organic compounds that pollute the water include detergents, pesticides, fuels, and some types of industrial wastes (organic).

Inorganic compunds would include industrial inorganic wastes like sulphur dioxide which is emitted from industries. By-products of industrial procedures fall in this category too.

Macro means large. So macroscopic would be large types of debris. Oil spills are on large scales. Shipwrecks are also in this category. Sometimes trash we dump on the street can end up in the oceans and that would be a form of macroscopic pollution. Basically pollution we can see.

Thermal pollution is caused mainly by industries. Usually the temperature is increased due to the reaction of some chemicals with the water. Chemicals like acid can release large amounts of heat when reacted with water.

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