The various categories in which water pollution is classified are namely, Ground, and Surface pollution of water.
Previously, we have discussed water pollution in detail. There we have mentioned that water pollution is defined as the presence of impurities within the water the presence of which degrades the quality of water and is further considered to be toxic for the environment as well as from consumption point of view.
The presence of pollutants in water leads to cause water pollution.
Water, in general, is known to be a universal solvent as it has an excellent quality to dissolve so much of substances in comparison to other liquids that exist on earth. Thus, the chances of water getting polluted are quite high. The discharge of pollutants in water can be either direct or indirect depending on the condition.
Let us now discuss each type of water pollution.
Ground Water Pollution
Groundwater is considered to be nature’s gift. More than 98% of fresh water on earth exist below the surface, while the rest 2% combinedly corresponds to the water present rivers, lakes, streams, reservoir, etc. The groundwater mainly exists in saturated zones beneath the land within the void or cracked regions in soil, sand and rocks, etc.
It acts as a source of water for wells and springs. Due to various human activities, the wastes generated from industrial, domestic, and agricultural chores are getting added to groundwater reservoirs. Once groundwater is contaminated, then it is quite a difficult task to get the purified water again. The addition of a large amount of minerals in ground water deteriorates the water quality which leads to cause changes in taste, odour, and excessive hardness.
Thus, it is always preferable to keep the ground water clean rather than using technology to clean the contaminated water.
The extent up to which ground water gets polluted depends on the following factors:
- Depth of water table,
- Rainfall pattern,
- Distance between ground water and source of contamination,
- Properties of soil.
The various sources that contaminate ground water are:
- Runoff from urban areas,
- Industrial wastes,
- Domestic wastes,
- Soluble effluents,
- Agricultural wastes
Surface Water Pollution
Surface water corresponds to the water that exists naturally on the surface of the earth, this includes the ones found in rivers, lakes, oceans, etc. It fills 70% of the earth. When dangerous substances or pollutants mix or dissolve physically with surface water then this to polluting the surface water which is called surface water pollution.
The sources of surface water pollution are as follows:
- Surface run-off,
- Industrial or municipal wastes,
- Radioactive materials,
- Atmospheric gases,
- Decomposed plants and animals wastes.
Some of the major pollutants that lead to surface water pollution are:
- Infectious agents
- Chemical compounds and minerals
- Thermal pollutants
- Organic chemicals
- Dissolved toxic pollutants
- Soil and mineral matter.
Polluted surface water is quality-wise very much degraded and has less nutrient content within the water. This is due to the various processes that occur naturally in nature.
We know water is an important part of our lives and must be protected properly like the drinking water must be free from dangerous biological pollutants. Thus, it is necessary that the water system must be properly examined that will resultantly give rise to an efficient system that maintains the best quality of water.