Water pollution isn’t talked about as much as it once was. It used to the cause of the year, chatted up by Ralph Nader (anyone remember him?) and the more green-friendly presidents we’ve had. In the recent wake of some higher-ups who didn’t really care much, it became a taboo subject—until we started talking global warming. It was then we realized that water pollution never left us. It’s worse than ever.
Strictly speaking, our pollution of water in this country—and the fact that we do most of it to a delicate ecosystem like the ocean—is almost at criminal heights these days. So who are the criminals?
We figured you should be aware of the Big Four: the major contributors to water pollution in this country.
First, we have sewage disposal. We dump literal tons of untreated, unrefined sewer water into the ocean on a daily basis—that’s right, daily. The ecosystems, particularly along the shoreline, are choking with the diseases and environmental blasts we’re giving them with this blatantly destructive process. We flush our drugs, our chemicals, our cleaning solvents, our waste products and our sewage right into Mother Ocean. She may be dying of it; a number of marine biologists have expressed concern that this, not global warming, is the beginning of the end for the earth.
Marine business dumping is big bad wolf number two. This particular practice has gone unchecked for decades, and it’s the dumping into the ocean of waste, byproducts and debris from big businesses—construction sites, chemical plants, waste processing plants. By the way, that waste doesn’t get processed much at all—it’s still pretty toxic and chemically intact when it goes out those pipes into Davy Jones’ locker.
Chemical dumping, third on the list, is in some ways the worst. This is the one that sends completely unprocessed, unadulterated toxins into the planet’s water supply. Poisons, chloride by-products, chemical waste, lead, mercury, asbestos, all get sent down to Neptune’s palace on a daily basis. Let’s not forget radioactive waste. No, it didn’t really create Godzilla, that’s a movie. But it’s creating huge problems for us on earth.
All that waste, all that toxicity cannot help but damage the ecosystem of the ocean. And since we rely on the ocean for life and sustenance, particularly in the seafood industry, and on plankton, sea kelp and greenery for their oxygen supply, we sort of seem to be cutting our own throats here, ecologically speaking.
We’re saved the worst for last—oil pollution. This can take the form of spill-offs, run-offs, oil dumps and actual and deliberated jettisoning of oil into the ocean because it’s too weighty for the ship carrying it. We also have hugely unstable underwater oil processing equipment, and pipelines that carry the oil for many miles along the ocean’s bed. We must do all we can to keep those pipes intact—we all remember what happened when we didn’t.
So the next time someone talks water pollution to you, listen up. It’s still very much with us.
Category: Water Pollution