Municipal and other causes of water pollution.

Apart from the industrial causes of water pollution, as we saw on the previous page, here are some more:

Municipal sources of water pollution
Municipal sources of water pollution

Sewage and wastewater
Every day, we cook, do laundry, flush the toilet, wash our cars, shower, and do many things that use water. Think about how we use water in schools, hospitals, and public places.

Where do you think all the water, liquid waste, poop, and urine end up? In many developed communities, wastewater and soluble waste (called sewage) are treated, cleaned, and dumped into the sea or river. Even though the wastewater gets treated, it is never the same as freshwater.

In some not-so-developed countries, the sewage is not treated but quickly dumped into the sea or water bodies. That is VERY dangerous because they contaminate the environment and water bodies and bring many deadly diseases to us.

Septic tanks
Every domestic (home) toilet is connected to a septic tank usually located outside the house. Each time poop gets flushed, it goes into this tank, where the solid part is separated from the liquid. Biological processes are used to break down the solids and the liquid is usually drained out into a land drainage system. From this stage, it can escape into the soil and nearby water bodies.

Dumping waste in the oceans is harmful to water animals
Dumping waste in the oceans is harmful to water animals

Ocean and marine dumping
Think of all the rubbish we make each day. Paper waste, food waste, plastic, rubber, metallic, and aluminum waste. In some countries, they are dumped into the sea. These waste types take some time to decompose. For example, it is known that paper takes about six weeks, aluminum takes about 200 years, and glass takes even more years. When these end up in the sea, they harm sea animals and cause a lot of water animal deaths.

Underground storage and tube leakages
Many liquid products (petroleum products) are stored in metal and steel tubes underground. Other sewage systems run in underground tubes. Over time, they rust and begin to leak. If that happens, they contaminate the soils, and the liquids in them end up in many nearby water bodies.

Atmospheric deposition is the pollution of water bodies caused by air pollution. Each time the air is polluted with sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, they mix with water particles in the air and form a toxic substance. This falls as acid rain to the ground and gets washed into water bodies. The result is that water bodies also get contaminated, and this affects animals and water organisms.