Causes of water pollution
Water pollution occurs when harmful substances, such as chemicals and microorganisms, contaminate streams, lakes, rivers or other bodies of water, degrading the water quality and making it toxic to the community. Water is known as the universal solvent, capable of dissolving more substances than any other liquid. Therefore, water is particularly vulnerable to contamination. Toxic substances from farms, factories and towns can easily dissolve and mix with water, causing water pollution. Water pollution threatens freshwater ecosystems and communities' way of life, making water use unsafe. Therefore, it is very important to use water monitoring equipment for water quality monitoring.
Causes of water pollution
Sources of pollutants include sediments, nutrients, heavy metals and pathogens. Sediment degrades ecosystems by degrading the water at the bottom of rivers and lake banks by clouding (turbidity) and suffocating habitat. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus can lead to algal blooms that reduce the cultural and recreational value of rivers and lakes. Heavy metals such as copper and zinc can accumulate, making freshwater species unsafe to eat and threatening life.
The impact of water quality degradation on the community
Water pollution affects almost all rivers and some lakes. Concentrations of pollutants in freshwater from agriculture, forestry and urban areas are higher than under natural conditions. Pollution is difficult to reverse because reducing it requires significant investment and commitment to behavioral change. Freshwater degradation exacerbates risks to human health and cultural well-being and practices, while also threatening our native species and habitats.
Excess nutrients can cause harm to fish and aquatic life through fluctuating oxygen levels. ~
Farmers used nitrogen fertilizers to grow grass in paddocks, but in the river, algae grew. The algae photosynthesize, which means they use oxygen to breathe at night, and oxygen levels drop to the point where almost all living things die. Then, in the afternoon, the water level rose back and reached dangerous heights. Such fluctuations are indeed harmful to river life.
Real-time water quality monitoring
Real-time water quality monitoring is a step in the right direction to improve water quality. The five-sensor water quality monitor includes IoT connectivity. Paired with data interpretation software and signal companion, it is suitable for any water environment and benefits the community. Empowering New Zealanders to understand their ecosystem means understanding how our actions affect our waterways and how their degradation affects us. If we commit to water quality monitoring, we have the opportunity to restore our freshwater ecosystems and South Island waterways for future generations.