30 Shocking Facts About Water Pollution That Will Stun You

By Milli 3 months ago

1. 100,000 people DIE every day from water pollution

Image Source/ IPleaders

Water Pollution kills 100,00 people from around the world EVERY DAY. This equals 3.6 million people every year! We only have ourselves to blame, but these figures are shocking. There are roughly 7.9 billion people on the planet, which does not sound a lot in comparison!

2. Sewage, equivalent to the weight of the entire human population, is discharged into waterways every day

Image Source/ Reddit

2 million metric tons of sewage and waste from industrial and agricultural sources is discharged into the world's waterways EVERY DAY. This is roughly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population of 6.8 billion people. That's a lot of people.

3. 700 MILLION Chinese citizens drink polluted water

Image Source/ Reddit

If 700 million Chinese citizens are drinking contaminated water regularly, that's around HALF of the whole population of China. This is because 40% of water in China is polluted so they have few options to avoid it, especially in more deprived areas of the country.

4. Russia is home to the most polluted and contaminated lake on the planet

Image Source/ EcoHub 

Lake Karachay, in Russia, is the most polluted and contaminated lake on the planet! The water is radioactive, so you can forget going for a swim. Even standing there for an hour would give you a lethal dose of radiation! It is no longer filled with water, just nuclear waste.

5. Polluted water kills more people every year than all forms of violence combined

Image Source/ Reddit

We could not survive without water. It is a fact. So we get our water where we can, and not everyone always has the option of clean, safe drinking water. More people die from drinking this unsafe water every year than all forms of violence combined, even war.

6. There are 500 'dead zones' on the planet

Image Source/ Reddit

A 'dead zone' is an area of ocean that is so low in oxygen, due to pollution, that very few organisms can survive there. There are now around 500 dead zones on the planet, which is equivalent in size to the territory of the United Kingdom. These zones can even contain toxic algae.

7. There is more plastic in our oceans than there is stars in the Milky Way!

Image Source/ USA Today

For reference, there are at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. Yet we have still managed to put more plastic in our oceans than stars in our galaxy. This is why it is so important to recycle plastic, or just cut down on consumption altogether, otherwise it ends up clogging up our waterways.

8. A young child dies every 8 seconds from dirty water

Image Source/ Reddit

Every eight seconds, a child under the age of five loses their life because of diseases caused by polluted and contaminated water. This may be cholera, dysentery, hepatitis or others and is something that is so avoidable, yet continues to take lives while we sit back and do nothing.

9. There is a whole continent made from trash that is bigger than Texas!

Image Source/ Reddit

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a whole continue made up from plastic trash. They think it is 386,000 square miles in size, which would make it bigger than the state of Texas! This is just one 'small' are of the ocean. If that doesn't tell you how big the problem is...

10. There are at least 20,000 hazardous waste sites in the US that could leak into the water at any moment

Image Source/ Clean Management

There are over 20,000 known hazardous waste sites in the United States. They are abandoned and uncontrolled. If there is a leak at any of these sites, there will be an enormous leak of hazardous waste into our groundwaters. I don't need to tell you how dangerous this is...

11. Oil causes the most damage to our oceans

Image Source/ Reddit

Although our oceans and waterways are visibly full of waste and trash, it is actually oil that causes the most damage. This is because of the huge economic impact they have on the water. They harm marine animals and make it harder for them to survive, therefore damaging the ecosystem.

12. Plastic is the one element most commonly found in the ocean

Image Source/ Reddit

You might have guessed that plastic would be up there as a number one contributor to pollution in our oceans. It's because plastic comes in so many different forms and is used so widely around the world. Fishing nets and cigarette butts are also some of the most common things found in the ocean that shouldn't be there.

13. A shocking 1.3 million gallons of oil is spilled into the ocean in a year

Image Source/ Reddit

Due to the high quantities of oil that are shipped all over the world, this also means there are very high quantities of oil spilled into the ocean every year. Around 1.3 million gallons, which is nearly 55,000 tons, is having a devastating impact on marine life and the quality of the water.

14. Arsenic is found in 85% of Bangladesh's water

Image Source/ Vox

huge 85% of groundwater in Bangladesh is found to contain arsenic. That means that tens of millions of people in Bangladesh have been exposed to poisonous levels of arsenic. There are some pretty nasty symptoms that come with it, like vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

15. The equivalent of 700 BILLION plastic bottles will end up in the ocean!

Image Source/ Good News Network

We use plastic all day, every day. Even with measures in place to try and reduce how much plastic we use, around 10% of the plastic we use in our daily lives will end up in the ocean. This is equivalent to 700 billion plastic bottles that we are putting in our waters.

16. The Mississippi River carries 1.5 million tons of pollution into the Gulf of Mexico EVERY YEAR

Image Source/ Reddit

The Mississippi River feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. Every year it carries around 1.5 million tons of nitrogen pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. This in turn creates a 'dead zone' each year that is around the equivalent size of the whole of New Jersey.

17. A huge 80% of pollution in the ocean comes from land-based sources

Image Source/ USA Today

Waste from our land is the reason for the majority of our oceans pollution. It makes up a whopping 80% of the oceans contamination. It comes from things like oil, untreated sewage, farms, pesticides, septic tanks, dirt, motor vehicles and many many more.

18. For every 1 million tons of oil shipped, one ton is spilled into water

Image Source/ Reddit

How does oil get into our water you ask? Well, quite honestly, it is spilt. For every one million tons of oil transported around the world, around one ton is spilled into the waterways. And vast amounts of oil are shipped every day, so you can imaging how quickly these numbers add up...

19. The trash you see floating in the ocean will probably be made of plastic

Image Source/ Reddit

Horrific pictures like these show just how much trash is floating around in our waters. 80% of what you can see will be plastic waste. We know how detrimental plastic can be to the ocean and its marine life. There is around 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of water.

20. The majority of oil in the ocean actually comes from land

Image Source/ Reddit

We have talked a lot about the vast quantities of oil that is spilled into the ocean, but would you believe that only accounts for 12% of the oil in the ocean. The rest of it comes from the land! Land based runoff travels from cities, highways and vehicles to rivers and oceans.

21. Nearly half of US lakes and rivers are too polluted for swimming or fishing

Image Source/ Reddit

There's an abundance of lakes and rivers in America. Combine that with some sunny weather and you have yourself a perfect day out. Unfortunately, around 40% of the lakes and rivers are too polluted for you to swim in. They are also no good for fishing either!

22. Did you know, nearly half of plastics we produce will float in the ocean?

Image Source/ IFL Science

46% of plastic that we produce on this planet will float if it ends up in the ocean. Unfortunately, it never really goes away. The plastic will break up into tiny bits, but it decomposes at a very slow rate. It ends up entering the food chain and damaging sea life.

23. Sewage found in the Mediterranean Sea is mostly left untreated!

Image Source/ Reddit

80% of sewage in the Mediterranean Sea comes from urban sources. And no one seems to do anything about it. It is in fact just left untreated. The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for plastic pollution due to its densely populated coastlines from tourism, fishing and shipping.

24. Los Angeles dumps almost 10,000kg of plastic every day

Image Source/ Reddit

Los Angeles is thought to dump 22,000 pounds, which equals nearly 10,000kg, of plastic waste into the Pacific Ocean EVERY DAY. The waste mainly consists of soda bottles, plastic straws and grocery bags. All items that can easily be replaced with non-plastic alternatives.

25. Half of all sea turtles have already eaten plastic

Image Source/ Science News

Because plastic decomposes so slowly, it remains as microscopic particles in the water. This means that marine life will ingest it without even realising. It is estimated that 50% of all sea turtles have already eaten plastic. Also, 44% of all seabirds and 22% of all cetaceans have too.

26. Nitrate from agriculture is the most common chemical found in the world's water supply

Image Source/ Reddit

Although plastic is a huge problem, there are other dangerous substances that are leaked into the ocean too. Nitrate is the most common chemical contaminant found in the world's groundwaters and it comes from agriculture. We can't escape agriculture but there must be a way of making it less polluted.

27. There is currently 40,000 tons of plastic floating on the ocean's surface

Image Source/ University of Oxford

Most plastic waste will be less dense than water, so it will float. Only waste that is denser than water will sink to the bottom. There is around 40,000 tons of plastic floating on the ocean's surface right now because it consists of things like plastic bags and bottle caps.

28. Over a million seabirds are killed every year just from water pollution

Image Source/ Science

Water pollution and plastic waste in our oceans will kill more than a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals EVERY YEAR. We are literally poisoning the homes of these animals and taking away their food sources. Just because we don't see it every day doesn't mean it isn't happening.

29. Rarely any of America's beaches have safe swimming water

Image Source/ Orange County Register

Not only are the lakes and rivers not safe, neither are the beaches in America. 10% of beaches in the US do not meet the requirements for safe swimming. This means that the water will be full of pollution in the form of physical waste or chemicals. Absolutely not what you want for your vacation.

30. Almost all of the ocean's plastic is found across the 5 tropical oceans

Image Source/ Science

The Indian Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are the five subtropical divisions of ocean and they are home to the majority of the plastic waste. This is because they have the most water flowing to them.

What To Read Next

Load More