Various simple and implementable ways can be used to limit the pollution of our water resources. These actions can be taken individually or collectively and must be done repeatedly to reduce the impacts on the water systems. Some people perceive that the harmful substances or pollutants normally disappear once discharged into water.
There are lot of industries who put their daily waste into the oceans thus further polluting the water bodies. Then there is problem of oil spill which results in accidental release of petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment which results in serious environmental consequences. What these people don’t know is that these pollutants can take hundreds to thousands of years to disappear. Thus, action needs to be taken to limit the direct negative impacts which translate to decline in water quality.
Here are the top 25 simple and easily implementable ways to counter water pollution.
1. Keep out oils, fat, or grease from the sink. Desist from pouring cooking oil, fat or grease down the kitchen sink. Instead, keep a jar that collects all the fats, grease or oil then discard in solid waste.
2. Abstain from flushing contaminated liquids, pills, drugs, or medications down the drain. These substances contain scores of toxic materials that destroy the quality of natural water systems. Instead, use the recommended disposal methods.
3. Desist from using the toilet as a bin. Most people discard dust clothes, paper wastes, synthetic materials, and wrappers in the toilet. The destructive elements of these materials may finally end up in the oceans, lakes or rivers. Desisting from this habit can considerably prevent water pollution.
4. Ensure minimal use of bleach or detergents. During cleaning of laundry or cutleries, it is vital to minimize the use of bleach and detergents. Instead, you can persist on only using phosphate-free detergents and soaps.
5. Reduce the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Excessive use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers leads to water pollution as the chemicals contained in the products often find way into the water systems through surface runoff or infiltration into the soil. Minimizing their usage or using organic methods for pest, weed, and disease control can appreciably reduce water pollution.
6. Proper sewage treatment and management. Proper sewage treatment is required to limit the amount of toxic substances that normally end up in water systems such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. Also, individual homes that use septic tanks or cellar drains need to ensure proper management of their home sewage to avoid pollution.
7. Dispose trash properly. When trash is not disposed properly some of the non-degradable products such as diapers and sanitary towels may end up destroying the process of sewage treatment, especially when they are flushed down the toilet. At times, poor disposal of solid non-degradable materials such as plastics normally ends up littering the beaches and river banks.
8. Avoid direct dumping into water systems. By all means possible, we should desist from disposing rubbish or any other waste products into lakes, rivers, streams or oceans. Still, you can do the best to clean your local water body whenever you notice rubbish littering the beaches or banks.
9. Always conserve water. Play an active role in reducing water pollution by conserving water at all time. You can achieve this by ensuring the taps are always turned off when they are not in use. Conserving water reduces the amount of contaminated water that needs to be treated.
10. Insist on using environmentally safe products. Whenever you purchase household products such as cleaning material, medical supplies, paints, insect/ant repellants, or chemical substances; always persist on obtaining and using products that are less harmful to the environment.
11. Practice tree planting. Planting trees reduce the speed of surface water runoff and as such, lessens erosion and prevents toxic substances and chemicals from washing into water systems. If you live next to a water body, please take this initiative today and plant trees and vegetation covers such as flowers, grass, and shrubs.
12. Re-use automobile oil as much as possible and keep your vehicle well maintained. Re-using automobile oil reduces the amount of used oil that is discarded which may end up polluting water bodies. Also, it is essential to keep your vehicle well maintained so as to prevent the leakage of deadly fluids like oil and antifreeze.
13. Support green-oriented companies. These are the companies that take creative initiatives to reduce water pollution. For instance, some green cleaning product companies make the packaging materials by using recycling plastics collected from the oceans. Also, some sewage treatment firms now clean wastewater without the use of chemicals. Supporting and using the services of such companies can greatly help reduce water pollution.
14. Use super energy saving washing machines. When purchasing washing machines, ensure you buy energy star approved washing equipment which can save energy and up to 60 liters of water. Eventually, it reduces the amount of wastewater that needs treatment.
15. De-clog your drains naturally. The typical drain cleaners contain several noxious chemicals such as sodium hydroxide. You can instead use natural methods such as pouring equal portions of white vinegar, boiling water and baking soda and let it stay in the drain for 30 minutes before rinsing.
16. Always opt for recyclable and reusable options. Reusable and recycled materials avoid the unnecessary use of water. By using these options, it, therefore, means you are conserving water. At the same time, you are minimizing the amount of waste water produced during production and processing. This should also include re-using dishware and linens such as towels and bed sheets.
17. Skip the use of plastics. Plastic leftovers such as used plastic water bottles, disposable plastic plates, and plastic bags frequently end up in the oceans, lakes, streams and rivers, contaminating natural habitats and destroying aquatic life.
18. Dispose motor oil, batteries or antifreeze at specially assigned collection points. Ensure each and every time you want to dispose used engine oil, batteries or antifreeze you do so at designated collection points to avoid the unnecessary contamination of ecosystems which may end up polluting surface and ground waters.
19. Keep your boat well maintained if you have one or in charge of any. Ensure your boat is in good condition at all times to avoid toxic substances from leaking into the water.
20. Only wash when you have a full load. By washing only when you have full loads of laundry and dishware, you can save tons of water while also reducing the amount of contaminated water that has to be treated.
21. Pick up pet waste. Pet waste might contain harmful bacteria which can flow into storm drains and contaminate water systems.
22. Practice organic farming. Organically grown crops reduce the quantity of herbicides and pesticides used in farming. It also promotes the use of organic fertilizer which promotes natural growth and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals found in synthetic fertilizers, which can penetrate into the ground and pollute water supplies.
23. Contact the local water protection and conservation authority whenever you notice any pollution activities. Take the initiative of promptly contacting the relevant local water conservation office when you notice any kind of pollutant or chemical being discharged or injected into water bodies.
24. Install water-efficient household appliances. In our homes, we have several appliances used for cleaning and sanitary purposes such as dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and shower heads. When we persist on installing these types of appliances that are water efficient, we end up saving millions of liters of water which would have been contaminated. Next time you want to install any of these products, first, look at their water efficiency rating.
25. Take action by actively participating in water pollution prevention. You can make monetary contributions or donations to water conservation agencies. Also, you can actively sensitize your peers and community on how to prevent water pollution and how they can ensure water conservation.