How to prevent water pollution?

+21 votes
asked Apr 13, 2015 in Culture & Society by RebbecaMacy (420 points)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never thought much about water pollution – I’ve lived my whole life with the privilege of knowing that I can turn on a tap and that clean water will come out. But I was recently watching a documentary on the great Pacific Garbage Patch and was horrified to discover that this giant aquatic dump is floating around the Pacific, occupying an area that is thought to be twice the size of the United States! They say this has been caused by “improper waste disposal” and that up to 80% of the pollution has come from land (just by people littering or not getting rid of their garbage the way they’re supposed to). I suddenly feel like I might be part of the problem and not even know it! Am I participating in “improper waste disposal”? How to prevent water pollution?

4 Answers

+21 votes
answered Apr 19, 2015 by EssieMacartn (370 points)

It’s good that people are finally sitting up and taking notice of environmental concerns – for too long people have watched stuff like that on the TV and gone “that’s awful”, then changed the channel and forgotten about it. To answer your question, yes, you probably have been contributing to the problem, but it’s great that you now want to make a change for the better.

  1. Don’t pour fat down the sink! I know almost everyone does it, but it ends up in the ocean (think sad little penguins covered in grease). Keep a “fat jar” under the sink and pour it in there instead. The same applies for chemicals – these should also not be poured down the sink.
  2. The toilet is not a bin – don’t treat it like one. Only human waste and toilet paper should get flushed down there.
  3. Switch to phosphate free detergents and only use the minimum required amount. Less detergent in the machine = less detergent in the ocean.
  4. Minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides, as these will eventually wash away into stormwater and eventually make their way to the ocean. 
+7 votes
answered May 15, 2015 by GarlandWomac (310 points)
At this point, I’m pretty sure it’s too little, too late. We can all go on about not littering and don’t pour fat down the sink, ya, ya, ya…but that big ball of garbage in the ocean isn’t going anywhere. What’s the point of even trying?
+6 votes
answered Jul 17, 2015 by MargueriteSt (310 points)
Can’t believe the answer I’ve just read above! What a juvenile attitude towards a global problem! Imagine what the world would be like if we all gave up and decided that we didn’t have to play our part! Shame on you! Questions like this are extremely important because they educate the next generation (and future earth caretakers) on what positive changes they can make. On our own, we can all make a little difference. But together, we can change the world.
0 votes
answered Jun 29, 2015 by ElbaLuna9297 (170 points)
Good suggestions above! I’d also add that if you do want to occasionally use a pesticide/herbicide, you should plant out your garden more densely first. That way, the amount of runoff that occurs after rain will be minimized. Also, if you try and conserve water whenever possible, this actually contributes towards preventing water pollution. This is because the more fresh water we have in reserve, the less contaminated water we need to treat and use. And last (but certainly not least), make sure you don’t litter. If you’re down the beach and your chip packet blows away, chase after it, don’t just let it blow away.
commented Aug 7, 2015 by DaniellaYocu (110 points)
Very practical to how to prevent water pollution. The last tip is definitely a mild little thing where we can start from.
Welcome to Instant Answer, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.