Chemical water pollution

Industrial and agricultural work involves the use of many different chemicals that can run-off into water and pollute it.

  • Metals and solvents from industrial work can pollute rivers and lakes. These are poisonous to many forms of aquatic life and may slow their development, make them infertile or even result in death.
  • Pesticides are used in farming to control weeds, insects and fungi. Run-offs of these pesticides can cause water pollution and poison aquatic life. Subsequently, birds, humans and other animals may be poisoned if they eat infected fish.
  • Petroleum is another form of chemical pollutant that usually contaminates water through oil spills when a ship ruptures. Oil spills usually have only a localised affect on wildlife but can spread for miles. The oil can
    cause the death of many fish and stick to the feathers of seabirds causing them to lose the ability to fly.