Top 9 Water Pollutants Affecting Humans and Biodiversity

71% of the world is made up of water. The body of water is a home to rich biodiversity. The water is also humans’ primary need. Only 3.5% of the world’s water is potable or safe to drink for humans and even animals. About 80% of the human body mass is water. Without water, we cannot survive. However, water pollutants are threatening our access to clean water.

Here are the top 9 water pollutants that are affecting the humans and the biodiversity:

Industrial waste

Industries produce tons of waste that contain harmful chemicals like asbestos, lead, mercury, nitrate, and Sulphur, among others. They either go to the bodies of water or to the air.

Sewage and wastewater

The waste that every household produces is chemically-treated before they go to the bodies of water. It contains harmful bacteria that may cause serious health problems.

Marine dumping

Most industries and households dump their waste and garbage to rivers and oceans. These garbage clogs water passageway and occupies the space for marine animals.

Agricultural run-offs

The use of inorganic farming methods involve chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. These harmful substances will go deep in the groundwater and will affect rivers and other bodies of water.

Oil spill

According to Business Insider, almost 9 million gallons of crude oil spilled in the US since 2010. Basically, it is toxic in the oceans, killing a wide variety of marine life.

Air pollution

Burning of fossil fuels and other forms of air pollution cause toxic chemicals to mix with water vapors and will precipitate in form of acid rain, contaminating river waters and ground waters.


Plastic is the number one enemy of the Earth. According to a study, it takes millions of year for plastic to decompose. Since 2010, more than 13 million metric tons of plastic float in the ocean, which is one of the major causes of the death of marine animals.

Unsustainable fisheries

Inorganic method of fishery uses certain chemicals to enhance the growth of farmed fishes. These affect the quality of water.

Radioactive waste

Most nuclear power plants discharge radioactive wastewater into the oceans. This can kill marine life and can cause cancers and other illnesses to humans.