Water Pollution In The Southeast Region Of The U.S.

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More than two-thirds of water occupies the surface of the Earth. Half the world is covered by water; water pollution is a very big crisis that can be minimized to some degree. Water pollution is a human problem as it appears to be a recent discovery that began in the late 19th century. Scientists say, ‘Humans have limits on the world with an estimated seven billion inhabitants, and pollution is a sign of over pollution. Pollution is a serious problem, according to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).’ Toxic chemical waste is destroying life on this planet. From the tropics to the once-pristine polar regions, every ocean and every continent is polluted. ‘Now that we know how serious it is, let’s think about what contamination is, what causes it, the consequences, and how we can benefit.

Water pollution is defined as one or more substances that build up to a certain level and cause animal or human problems. Water bodies like; seas, ponds, and rivers will clean up large amounts of pollution by dissolving it harmlessly and naturally. Water pollution is all about quantities (how much of a polluting substance is released and how large a volume of water it is released into) A small quantity of a toxic chemicals can have little impact if it is released from a ship into the ocean, but the same quantity of the same chemicals can have a much greater impact when pumped into a lake or river. The water is less clean and the chemical would be difficult to disperse. Water pollution almost always means that the ocean, river, lake, or other types of water are damaged in some way. Pollution affects two different types of water resources: surface water and groundwater. In surface waters, the most obvious type of pollution is affected, an example being an oil spill. Underground water stored in aquifers feeds our river and provides most of our drinking water. People who use weed killers in their yard, because it falls into the soil, will cause pollution. Point-source emissions and non-point contamination often arise in two different ways. Point-source pollution is emissions from a single site like a discharge pipe linked to a factory. Non-point pollution comes from various places into the environment at once (Wang, T). As we can see on this graph if we are only going by state the Southeast regional states have the highest such as North Carolina and Tennessee.

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If pollution has hundreds or thousands of miles away from the environment, but it enters from one location, it is called transboundary pollution. Polluted water can be discovered and measured in two ways; chemical water quality indicators take water samples and measure the concentrations of various chemicals contained in water, or biological water quality indicators examining the things supported by fish, insects, and other water. If the water levels are too high or the contaminants are toxic, the water is known to be poisoned. The water is supposed to be able to support several different types of animals, but if it does not support life at all, it is polluted.

Water is the life’s key element. Water is an essential basic living that must be protected. U.S. people use groundwater to bake, wash, drink, shower, and for all other water purposes. Ninety-seven per cent of people living in the countryside use groundwater and thirty-four per cent of the water used in irrigation comes from the soil.

But water pollution is one of today’s most serious environmental challenges. Water pollution occurs when water bodies are touched by toxic substances, such as streams, rivers, seas, etc. Lying suspended in the water and flat on the ground, dissolving in them. This degrades the quality of the water. This spell disaster not only affects aquatic ecosystems, but contaminants also enter and hit the groundwater that could end up contaminated in our homes. Indirect water pollution sources include contaminants from soil or groundwater systems and from the atmosphere through rain entering the water supply. Human beings are the main cause of water pollution, caused in many ways: by dumping industrial waste; by increasing temperature, causing water to change by reducing oxygen concentration; or by deforestation, causing the appearance of sediments and bacteria in the soil, thus contaminating groundwater. The main problem caused by water pollution is that it kills water-based animals. Bioaccumulation happens when an animal eats another animal or organism and the toxins are stored within the meal. The toxins spread throughout the food chain as the polluted marine life is eaten by birds and mammals. Then people eat these animals and thus also create problems with us.

With Americans flocking to beaches for summer holidays, an environmental advocacy group has released their annual study of water quality — and finds problems with bacteria rates that exceed health standards at common swimming spots across the South, especially along the Gulf Coast. More than 80% of closings and advisories were issued because water bacteria levels exceeded the standards of public health, indicating the presence of human or animal waste. Stormwater runoff was the largest known source of pollution, accounting for 28 percent of closing and consulting days (Stu Serges).

As Americans we do not expect raw sewage, bacteria, and dangerous pollution in the water they go swimming at their local beach or body of water but often the agency responsible for protecting us is not doing their job. “In places like Florida and Southern Georgia, water can come out of the ground at 70 degrees, while areas in the northern part of my sales region can come out at 50 to 55 degrees,” she says. “So, backwash rates of media can vary, and you’ve got more potential for living organisms (bacteria) growth in regions where the water source is warmer. You need to disinfect those units more often there than you do in colder climates (Jennifer LaVista)”. On the matter of certain bacteria, the main cause of diarrhea is contaminated drinking water and fecal water contamination. Worldwide, Campylobacter jejuni spread diarrhea from 4% to 15%. The main signs of diarrhea are fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, headache. The infection can be avoided by good hygienic practices and antibiotic use. Contaminated water is responsible for the infection cholera. This disease is caused by Vibrio Cholerae. Not only this, there are viral and parasitic diseases that festering in our bodies of water. Yes, they are harming us, animals, and our ecosystem. With all of this streaming into an are where we could swim or get our food from it is common knowledge to stop polluting our water.

No one wants to be swimming or drinking poop infested water. Now there are ways upon ways to fight the threat of pollution to our water. The first way that comes to mind is renewable energy. “Renewable energy drain natural resources or cause any environmental harm. When it comes to renewable energy there are so many different options such as wind, bioenergy, geothermal, solar, and hydroelectricity energy. Bioenergy is produced from trees and plants such as corn and soybeans, which are harvested to produce energy in the form of biofuel. Wind energy is created by wind turbines, which convert kinetic energy into mechanical energy, and finally converted into electricity” (Shinn, Lora). The main downside to wind energy would of course be the noise.

The second way that comes to mind when thinking about ways to prevent pollutants getting into waterways would be the use of the Electric cars which is powered only by electricity instead of gasoline. “By the removal of fossil fuels we then prevent air pollution. Humans can easily stop polluting just by not throwing trash onto the ground. Do not litter. Use green household cleaners and detergents. Opt for natural fertilizers instead of chemical filled ones. Chemical fertilizers are washed away into waterways by rain and snowmelt” (Biello, David).

The major problem of water pollution will not be solved tomorrow. Factories all across the board has great effects on water areas. After all, factories, cars, goods, and overall humans have all the impact of water pollution on its shoulders. Solutions should be considered immediately for solving our water pollution. Water pollution affects human health and most importantly our planet. In this long run battle, factories are still releasing and will continue to release harmful chemicals into the water that cause health risks to everyone’s communities and need to be put to a stop or at least lowered dramatically. Eventually, by using environmentally friendly detergents, not pouring oil down drains, and reducing pesticides, we can take individual action to help reduce water contamination. We can also take community action by helping to keep our rivers and seas that little bit cleaner on beach cleaners or litter picks. Between countries and continents, we can also take action to enact laws that make emissions harder and less harmful in the world.

Work Cited

  1. LaVista, Jennifer. “Groundwater Quality in the Southeastern Coastal Plain Aquifer System.” Groundwater Quality in the Southeastern Coastal Plain Aquifer System, 19 Jan. 2017, www.usgs.gov/news/groundwater-quality-southeastern-coastal-plain-aquifer-system
  2. Julia, Hector. “Southeast.” American Rivers, 2018, www.americanrivers.org/region/southeast/
  3. Callahan, K. “Water Pollution and Food Chains.” WikiEducator, 29 Apr. 2007, wikieducator.org/Water_Pollution_and_Food_Chains
  4. Walsh, Brad. “Regional Water Problems: Southeast and the Eastern States.” Water, Regional Water Pollution, 13 Nov. 2017, www.water-rightgroup.com/blog/regional-water-problems-southeast/
  5. Shinn, Lora. “Renewable Energy: The Clean Facts.” NRDC, 2 Oct. 2019, www.nrdc.org/stories/renewable-energy-clean-facts.
  6. Wang, T. “Concern Regarding Water Pollution in the United States in 2019.” 14 June 2019.
  7. Biello, David. “Fertilizer Runoff Overwhelms Streams and Rivers–Creating Vast ‘Dead Zones.’” Scientific American, Scientific American, 14 Mar. 2008, www.scientificamerican.com/article/fertilizer-runoff-overwhelms-streams/.


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