A polluted river affects the health of the waterway, the health of the organisms living in and around the waterway and eventually the healthy of humans. The effects of water pollution can range from human disease to economic loss.
Sediment Pollution effects on Human
Water has been a potential carrier of toxic inorganic and organic materials, non-biodegradable matter and pathogenic microbes which endanger human health and life. The potable water contaminated with municipal sewage is the root cause of these dangerous diseases in living beings.
Municipal wastes come from the hotel, restaurants, residential areas, refuse, animal waste and human feacal matters etc. Thus, they induce illness either through the direct consumption of contaminated water or through the food chain. persistent organic pollutants (POP) such as dioxin, PCBS and DDT are chemical substances that persist in the environment and bio-accumulate through the food web; therefore, POPS can also cause sickness and disease in humans, who are at the end of the food chain.
Example of water-borne pathogens and diseases and their sources
Name of Micro-organisms Major Diseases Major Researchers and Primary Sources
Salmonella typhi Typhoid fever Human feces
Salmonella paratyphi Paratyphoid fever Human feces
Other salmonella Salmonellosis Human and animal feces
Shigell spp Bacillry dysentery Human feces
Enteropathogenic E.coli Gastroenteritis Human feces
Yesinia enterocotica Gastroenteritis Human and animal feces
Campy lobacter jejuni Gastroenteritis Human and animal feces
Legionella puenmophila Acute respiratory illness Thermally enriched H2O
Various mycobacteria Pulmonary illness Soil and water
Opportunistic bacteria Variable Natural waters
Coxsackie viruses A Aseptic meningitis Human feces
Coxsackie viruses B Aseptic meningitis Human feces
Echo viruses Aseptic meningitis Human feces
Other enteroviruses Encephia litis Human feces
Rota viruses gastroenteritis Human feces
Adenoviruses Upper respiratory and gastrion testinal illness Human feces
Hepatitis E. virus Infectious hepatitis Human feces
Hepatitis E virus Infectious hepatitis; miscarriage and death Human feces
Balantidium coli Balantidosis (dysentery) Human and animal feces
Entamoeba histolytica Amoebic dysentery Human and animal feces
Giardia lablia Giardiasis (gastroenteritis) Water and animal feces
Naegleria fowlen Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis Warm water
Ascaus Lumbricoids Ascariosis Animal and human feces
Sediment Pollution Effect on the Ecosystem
Sediment body that is more acidic or basic or warmer than usual or that contains toxic metals are harmful to fish waters. Also chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides as well as organophosphorus insecticides are poisonous to fish and other aquatics, this is as a result of the fact that most pesticides are broad spectrum toxicants designed to kill living organisms.
Toxic pollutants can also alter the genetic make up of an organism, resulting in either death or extreme deformities studies have found cormorants suffering from cross-billed syndrome at rates 42 percent times the natural occurrence, while terms exhibit birth defects from dioxin, PCBs and furan exposure at 31 times the normal levels. Other example of deformities include large fish tumors.
Pollution of rivers is aesthetically awful and sometimes heads to nuisance overgrowth of water weeds (entrophication). entrophication is a natural process that is derived from the greek word “entrophos” meaning well nourished or enriched. This enrichment leads to other slow processes referred to as natural ageing of lakes or entrophication. Relational Treads of Fresh Water Fish Activity to Turbidity Value This phenomenon, known as entrophication, significantly reduces available (dissolved) oxygen in the water as the algae rots ultimately causing the death of aquatic biota.
aesthetic effects by stating that at zero oxygen level anaerobic bacteria obtain oxygen through reduction of nitrates to nitrites. At the exhaustion of nitrate, they reduce sulphides to hydrogen sulphide still in a bid to obtain oxygen. This hydrogen sulphide causes foul smell and putrefied taste of water. Algae and diatoms attain a high degree of dominance due to over fertilization. Algae and noted weeds interfere with the hydroelectric power, clog the filters, retard the water flow and affect the water quality and water works etc.
The economy of a community suffers when its river is grossly affected by pollutants. A turbid river body has a low aesthetic value and will definitely pursue tourists thereby reducing recreational activities. Also trading between communities prevented due to loss of the lives of fishes and other aquatic animals in a polluted river. Similarly, morbidity rates of individuals in the area will increase.
Throughout most of the world, the most common contaminants of raw water sources is from human sewage and in particular human faecal pathogens and parasites. Water borne diseases were estimated to cause over 1.8 million deaths each year while about 1.7 billion people lacked proper drinking water. The world health organization sets international standards for drinking water. It reflects the health of a country. People and the country’s capacity to collect clean and distribute water to consumers. According to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) more than one billion people in low and middle –income countries lack access to safe water for drinking, personal hygiene and domestic use. These numbers represent more than 20 percent of the world’s people.
Waste water Treatment
The disposal of waste waters is of wide spread national concern. Treatment of the waste is required before it can be safely buried, used or released back into local water systems in a treatment plant, the waste is passed through a series of screens, chambers and chemical process to reduce its built and toxicity. The three general phases of treatment are primary, secondary and tertiary. During primary treatment, a large percentage of the suspended solids and inorganic materials is removed from the sewage. The focus of secondary treatment is reducing organic material by accelerating natural biological processes. Tertiary treatment is necessary when the water will be reused, 99 present of solids are removed and various chemical processes are used to ensure the water is as free from impurity as possible.