We have lived for years with a subconscious feeling that whatever we do is right and sensible. We believed that water, in its impressive immensity would eventually „digest” everything thrown into it. In other words, all this stretch of water looked to us like a huge dumping which we thought purifying. In the last 50 years, people advanced so much and their needs became more and more sophisticated and urgent. There came the day when we finally discovered that all garbage thrown into the ocean got bigger and even outweighed the
quantity of thrash disposed in the last 20 centuries. An ecological disaster is produced when waters suffer physical modifications as a consequence of our irrational dumping of solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive waste. All this leads to serious consequences directed toward our health and life, fishing, industry and tourism.
Water pollution may be also caused by biological agents. They provoke deep bacteriological contamination, which spreads diseases such as colibacillosis and typhoid. Besides the urban sewage, the industrial waste water produced by paper industry or food industry have their share in polluting waters. Studies show that a town of 500,000 inhabitants produce the same amount of waste as a medium size paper mill. Not even less dangerous would be the effluents from farms raising animals in closed spaces. The chemical pollution is produced when in the water are released chemical products like: nitrates, phosphates, the ones used in agriculture, or when ind
ustries that use hazardous waste like lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury or cadmium dispose of them irrationally . The excess of nitrogen in the fertilizers makes it drain into the soil and from there it penetrates the ground water table in alarming quantities. Moreover, the consumption of water rich in nitrates cause the so-called “blue disease”, common with children. Also known under the name of infantile cyanosis, it is a poisoning caused by use of fountain water. Exclusively noticed in rural areas, this illness breaks out
in 3-4 month babies that are fed with powder milk mixe
d with fountain water rich in nitrates.
Another main cause of water pollution would be the presence of the hydrocarbons in all rivers as a consequence of modern civilisation. Studies have proved that the combination of water and nitrates makes water be “suffocated” by large growing of algae that exhaust the oxygen.
Synthetic organic substances that come from pesticides and detergents pollute water, as well as the radioactive materials that fall from atmosphere or are incorrectly disposed of from industries that use atomic energy.
We may wonder which are the effects of all these? Why should we worry? A very serious consequence of pollution is the “death of lakes”, as they are over fertilised and that makes plankton proliferate too much. Slowly but surely, lakes become smaller and then gradually disappear. The diversity of all damage produced by pollution is easy to measure. More than that, our health is at stake as well. Economy is in danger. But degradation of underwater life is full of consequences because it tends to reduce our food supplies we get from seas, the very moment we are about to use it more than ever. Oyster beds are compromised. Tourism suffers because no one likes to have a walk on a dirty beach. We need to increase public awareness of the gravity of water pollution. The amount of polluting substances discharged into the water is growing with every second passing by. We will witness powerlessly to the depletion of fauna and flora in harbours. The oil slicks obstruct water oxidation and in time, after endless stirring with microorganisms form sediments on the seabed which will breathe no more. It is said that today pollution is not to be compared in severity to the one we will have tomorrow.