For over 1 billion people on the planet, clean water is nearly impossible to get.
Dirty, polluted water can make them sick and is especially tough on young children.
Wherever possible, I've referenced my sources with links; the following notes (indicated by bracketed numbers in the text) are mostly references to books, journals, and other "offline" reports that can't be linked the same way.
This article was originally written for the UK Rivers Network and first published on their website in April 2006.
The EPA also states that the United State's most common contaminants are bacteria, mercury, phosphorus and nitrogen.
These come from the most common sources of contaminates, that include agricultural runoff, air deposition, water diversions and channelization of streams.Another bad oil spill was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill when an explosion at an oil well caused over 200 million gallons to spill into the Gulf of Mexico.Acid Rain Air pollution can also have a direct effect on water pollution.Water pollution happens when chemicals or dangerous foreign substances are introduced to water, including chemicals, sewage, pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural runoff, or metals like lead or mercury.According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 44% of assessed stream miles, 64% of lakes and 30% of bay and estuarine areas are not clean enough for fishing and swimming. Water pollution is when waste, chemicals, or other particles cause a body of water (i.e.rivers, oceans, lakes) to become harmful to the fish and animals that need the water to survive.Much of it is classified as non-hazardous, such as construction material (wood, concrete, bricks, glass, etc.) and medical waste (bandages, surgical gloves, surgical instruments, discarded needles, etc.).Hazardous waste is any liquid, solid or sludge waste that contain properties that are dangerous of potentially harmful to human health or the environment.Plastics comprised about 13% of the solid waste, while rubber, leather and textiles made up 9.5% and metals 9%.Wood contributed to 6.2% of the garbage; glass was 4.4% and other miscellaneous materials made up about 3%.