Water pollution can be found in many forms, such as human and animal waste, which can both cause widespread illness. Due to industrial pursuits, hazardous materials are present in some surface and ground water supplies. Waste in water commonly results from human recreation such as boating. The lack of proper sanitation services largely contributes to the prominence of household garbage in water in some places.
The type of waste in water tends to be greatly affected by location. People in rural areas where most households have private wells are likely to find different pollutants than people in cities where water is supplied by the municipality. Likewise, citizens in one country may have issues that are not experienced by people in another nation.
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Animal waste in water is a problem that can be found around the globe. In many developed countries, there are strict regulations regarding the maintenance of livestock to help reduce these risks, but even these may not completely eliminate the problem. Animal waste is a major concern because the microorganisms that these pollutants introduce into water systems can cause widespread illnesses, which are often fatal.
Hazardous waste in water at the surface and under ground is often a problem for people who live in industrial areas or near factories. Such businesses are often located near large bodies of water. It is not uncommon for it to be discovered that a factory or plant has attempted to lower its operational costs or circumvent regulations by illegally dumping waste into a body of water. The resulting illness of individuals living nearby is often a tip-off of the problem.
Surface water is also heavily polluted by individuals. In underdeveloped countries, this is especially problematic. People commonly live without the convenient facilities that individuals have in developed nations. As a result, they use rivers, lakes, and streams as toilets, for bathing, and for laundry. Even worse, as there generally is little or no garbage removal service, the waste in water in these countries largely consists of household garbage.
In developed countries, although the amount of waste in water and the types of pollutants may vary, it is still common to find that humans are creating problems. One major contributing factor is water recreation. Motor oil and fuel from boats are very prominent in some waters. Although in these nations people generally have adequate access to sanitation services, it is still commonly found that individuals throw unwanted objects overboard.