Suggestion and Solution to Solve Thermal Pollution

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Thermal pollution occurs when there is a sudden rise in the optimum temperature of the water source such as river, lake and ocean due to the industrial activities of disposing heated waste water into the water source. There are many industries generate their own power and use water to cool their generators. They use water from the natural source to cool their parts of machineries before discharging it back to the source with an altered temperature. The sources of thermal pollution mostly include the industrial activity of dumping hot water from nuclear power plant, coal-fired power plant, industrial effluents, domestic sewage, thermal power plant and hydro-electric power plant into the nearby river, lake or ocean. This act changes the oxygen levels and can result in disastrous effects on local ecosystems and communities. This is because the sudden temperature change poses a health risk to a wide range of aquatic life as well as reduces their reproduction of them. However, thermal pollution has not been broadly understood and taken into proper consideration for countermeasures because many people do not believe it has direct effect on human. The truth is that any loss of an ecosystem affects all members of the wider system and therefore thermal pollution does have immediate consequences for people living on earth. The harmful effect of thermal pollution can be chained towards another. The effect can first be seen in the reduction of dissolved oxygen level in which triggers the formation of algae to spike as well as causes an increase in anaerobic condition. This algae formation prevents the aquatic ecosystem to get enough oxygen and eventually results in the massive death of the aquatic life especially fish population. Besides, there will be an increase in migration of the aquatic life when there is not enough source of food for them. This will cause significant loss of biodiversity as many aquatic lives cannot adapt easily with the warmer temperature. Therefore, the particular species of aquatic life which migrate to other place can relatively interrupt the food chain of other species that depend on them for their daily food. Besides, human society also can be affected with the jeopardizing thermal pollution through consumption of the seafood that has been intoxicated. This act will results in malnutrition to human and eventually causes harmful and deadly disease such as cancer and infertility.

Suggestion and solution to solve thermal pollution

Numerous countermeasures have been taken into action in order to reduce thermal pollution that sickens the environmental condition as well as biodiversity of ecosystem. The countermeasures include treating the heated water from industries before discharging to the water source. The treatment can be done at the runoff or reuse the waste heat discharge for other use to generate electricity. Besides, the treatment also can be done by introducing artificial lakes and cooling towers in the power plant. The artificial lake can help industries to discharge the heated water and use water for cooling in which the heat will dissipate through evaporation. As for cooling tower, it uses water from water source for cooling purposes by passing through condenser before being discharge back to the water source. The use of cooling tower is effectively worked in order to recover and reuse waste heat in which eventually reduces thermal pollution. However, in the colder region of the foreign countries have been working on some potential physical applications for thermal discharge of power plants. They use thermal discharge in the industrial and space heating, biological application like soil warming and fish culture, livestock shelters and for heating greenhouses. These physical applications can solve the issue regarding thermal pollution as the waste heat has been reuse for other function in which contributes to a better society and sustainability.

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Challenges for implementation

The challenges for implementation of thermal pollution solution can be seen when there is a persistent lack of communication and awareness regarding on the effect of the thermal pollution. This communication barrier prevails among federal agencies, states, local governments and private stakeholders in which they offer limited cooperation when legislation is not firmly enforced. The lack of integrity and awareness has resulted in the sickening amount of thermal pollution where they disgrace the value of balance ecosystem over mere profit. Besides, the condition of the country which experiences tropical weather can lead to one of the barrier to implementing the potential physical applications as applied in the colder region of foreign countries. On top of that, the cost to implement the above alternatives is quite costly as it requires vast amount of space and construction to develop the physical applications as mentioned.

Support the united nation sustainable goals

The implementation of the activity can help solve the thermal pollution issue in order to support the United Nations Sustainable Goals in which to promote environmental sustainable development. This can be successfully upheld when government form coherent cross-sector policies with respect to the environment, economy, energy, foreign affairs, trade and development cooperation in which can improve the management of waste heat from power plant. As an example, the environment policies such as Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) and plans for economic development must be coherent with the goals for sustainability towards zero thermal pollution. Government can engage with legislation and awareness campaigns in order to nurture and promote awareness towards the industrial sector to be resource efficient and encourage them to use proper procedures for heat removal. This is essential for people to be aware of the harmful effects of thermal pollution so that they can initiate ways to decrease their carbon footprint. This act of integrity and conscience in making necessary changes can help to sustain the development of the environment for a better tomorrow.

Do’s and don’ts

The unethical problems that arise in thermal pollution may seem to be barely undiscovered as the effect of pollution is quite similar to water pollution. The identified unethical problem in thermal pollution includes the excessive and illegal discharge of heated water to the water source like river and ocean from nearby industrial activities. This action can be tackled by taking legal action towards inappropriate act in which comply with the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) that relate to the prevention, abatement, control of pollution and enhancement of the environment. Besides, the excessive use of energy such as in heating process to generate electricity can be overcome by optimizing the use of energy in a greenway. This can be done by reusing the waste heat in other applications so that the energy will not be wasteful. The heat recovery from waste heat might be useful for other applications and this can result in a greener environment. Next, the act of disposing of chemical waste should be banned because chemical waste can lead to toxicities of river or ocean. The toxic in the chemical waste can bring disastrous effect to aquatic life when they consume intoxicated foods for a long time. The chemical waste should be treated first before being disposed as scheduled waste. This scheduled waste should be disposed of via an appropriate medium such as the registered contractors to the Department of Environment which manage the scheduled waste legally


Thermal pollution has been a great risk towards biodiversity and the sustainability of ecosystems. Therefore, it is critically essential to be environmentally conscious in order to preserve the environment. The ecosystem itself is admitted to be resilient but it is also quite fragile towards sudden changes. By being conscious and do take part in finding possible ways to decrease the carbon footprint, people can eventually help to reduce the harmful effect of pollution. This can be done easily when awareness is being properly developed and widen to reach other subjects of interest. If we can make people understand the harm that thermal pollution can cause to others, the world would be better again. Earth is changing, and why aren’t we?


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