As the most abundant resource in the world, water plays a pretty important role in our everyday lives. Seventy percent of the Earth is covered by water. Despite this, 780 million people lack access to an improved water source—about one in nine people.
When you break down the numbers, the available clean water in the world is even less. Only one percent of the Earth’s water is suitable for drinking and just three percent of the Earth’s water is fresh water. In spite of water’s importance and abundance, the world’s water supply is constantly plagued by various forms of pollution.
Lack of adequate sanitation contaminates water courses worldwide and is one of the most significant forms of water pollution. Worldwide, 2.5 billion people live without improved sanitation. More than 70 percent of these people who lack sanitation, about 1.8 billion people, live in Asia.
Many types of pollution affect the world’s water supply and some of these forms of pollution include:
- Chemical water pollution: Every day, two million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are discharged into the world’s water supply. Farmers and industries use chemicals that end up in water including pesticides and runoff from metals and solvents. Chemicals are poisonous to animals and aquatic life.
- Suspended matter: Some pollutants don’t always dissolve in water easily and settle under water bodies. This is known as particulate matter.
- Nutrient pollution: Wastewater, sewage and other pollutants have high nutrient levels and encourage the growth of weeds and algae. The buildup of weeds and algae clogs filters and makes water undrinkable.
- Ground water pollution: Using pesticides and chemicals for things like gardening causes these pollutants to wash deep into the ground by rainwater. Ultimately, this may cause pollution in underground water sources and in wells.
Maintaining a clean supply of groundwater is very important. Ground water accounts for more than 95 percent of the United States’ available fresh water and is the drinking source for half the people in the country. But more than 80 percent of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the country have adversely impacted the quality of nearby ground water. About 70 percent of the industrial waste each year is dumped into water bodies where they pollute the usable water supply; that includes many ground water sources.
Groundwater is the aquifers below Earth’s surface and is paramount to the survival of the rural areas of the United States. These areas don’t have water delivered to them from a city or county water source and depend on water for everyday use, irrigation and livestock among other needs. In 2005, about 23 percent of freshwater in the U.S. came from freshwater.
Traditionally, water treatment companies can help monitor different levels of bacteria in water and make it suitable for drinking. Primary and secondary waste treatments remove about 85 to 95 percent of pollutants from wastewater before the treated wastewater is disinfected and discharged into local waterways.
In rural areas, water treatment companies might not be readily available and the Environmental Protection Agency has offered several options for treatment in those communities.
If you’re looking for reputable water treatment companies in your area, Thumbtack allows you to find water treatment services that might work best for you.