Fate of pollution essay

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Fate of pollution essay

Pollution of Streams by Garbage and Trash Pollution of Streams by Garbage and Trash Despite environmental regulations that protect the quality of streams, lakes, and wetlands, solid waste in the form of trash, litter, and garbage often ends Fate of pollution essay in these surface waters.

Because surface waters collect in low-lying areas, anything that is dropped or blown into a watershed can eventually reach a drainageway. In urban areas, trash and litter general terms for dry solid waste often are transported by stormwater runoff.

In both urban and rural areas, these items sometimes are illegally dumped directly into a waterbody or wetland, or deposited along riverbanks or lakeshores. Trash also comes from people who fish or participate in other forms of water-related recreation.

Regardless of source or type, trash is a form of water pollution. Ironically, in some circumstances, some discarded items e. However, trash items are unsightly and are a sign of human neglect or disregard for aesthetic values and natural ecosystems.

Despite increased environmental awareness, some people still use waterways as a repository for unwanted items, including couches and mattresses; cars and car parts; bicycles; shopping carts; bags of stolen property; fuel containers; and paint cans.

The most common litter in U. Plastics can be especially hazardous to wildlife. Depending on their form they can either be ingested, causing internal organ failure, or they can cause a slow strangulation.

River cleanup committees and various "clean stream teams" are ways that citizens can directly participate in environmental quality initiatives. Among the many impacts are interfering with the establishment of aquatic plants, affecting the reproductive behavior of fish and other animals, and depleting the water of dissolved oxygen as the wastes decompose.

Further, toxic materials can leak or leach out of certain kinds of trash e.

Fate of pollution essay

The Clean Water Act as amended in provides the legal basis for the protection of the quality of surface water. The law uses a variety of tools to limit and control direct pollutant discharges into waterways, as well as the disposal of dredge or fill materials.

The law also addresses pollutants coming from nonpoint sources e. The control of solid waste falls under a different division within the EPA. Households create municipal solid waste, which consists mainly of paper, yard trimmings, glass, and other solid or semisolid materials. Industrial and manufacturing processes create mixtures of municipal solid wastes, hazardous waste, and other wastes such as construction-demolition debris.

Some solid wastes, such as animal waste, radioactive materials, or medical waste, are managed by other government agencies and laws. Although RCRA deals with waste once it reaches a regulated facility such as a landfillit does not directly address the problem of litter, even when the litter is in a watershed.

Fate of pollution essay

Similarly, the Clean Water Act does not apply unless the materials are polluting a waterway; that is, it does not apply to trash or debris along a riverbank. Only when trash enters designated waterways and becomes "floatable debris," for example, does it become subject to regulations under the Clean Water Act, the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act, or other applicable laws.

The intended use of a waterbody is considered when deriving a working definition of "pollution," including human-derived litter. For example, if water is primarily designated to support wildlife habitat, oxygen is desirable but toxic compounds are not.

But if water is to be converted to steam in a power plant, excess oxygen that could corrode equipment would be undesirable, and certain toxic chemicals may not be a concern within this very specific application.

Even with regulations that define pollution, sometimes no government or agency is willing to accept responsibility for litter and other debris in waterways. For example, the Rideau Canal and water in Ontario, Canada is a popular destination for boaters and other recreationists.

Regulatory Context

However, as the weather warms and the ice melts, low water levels reveal a variety of debris littering the bottom and floating on the water surface.

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