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Direct and Indirect Water Pollution

Water pollution is a term which describes pollution and contamination to various watercourses including the sea, rivers, streams and groundwater. Water is essential to life on earth, and so contamination of this can have far-reaching consequences as it puts at risk the health, safety and wellbeing of all creatures, including humans, that depend on it for survival.

The method of water pollution can fall into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct pollution comes from releasing fluids directly into the water, such as a business expelling contaminated water or toxic solids mixed in with water directly into the sea or a river. This makes the water poisonous for fish and other aquatic creatures, often resulting in death. Not only this, but animals drink this water, causing ill-health or death to them also. Humans too can be affected. Although people in developed countries no longer rely on fetching water out of the stream or river for drinking, there is still a risk to those who swim in or take part in activities such as canoeing on the polluted water, as swallowing some of it can cause illness to them and even death in extreme cases.

Indirect pollution of water is not caused by contaminants being introduced directly into the water, but instead from those which end up there. An example includes chemicals from fertilisers and pesticides which are slowly washed through the soil and find their way into groundwater and then into various watercourses. Also, air pollution can result in acid rain falling to the ground, which can be extremely harmful to wildlife, including polluting lakes, streams and rives and making the water deadly for those creatures leaving in and near it.

Whether water pollution is direct or indirect, the results can still be the same, i.e. illness and possibly death to any living thing that lives in it or takes in the water. It is therefore imperative that individuals and businesses take steps to reduce their pollution levels and lower their impact upon the environment.

Related Course

Please see below for more information on the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate:

NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

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