What are some causes of water pollution?
Water pollution happens when contaminants enter water bodies. Contaminants are any substances that harm the health of the environment or humans. Most contaminants enter the water because of humans. Surface water (river or lake) can be exposed to and contaminated by acid rain, storm water runoff, pesticide runoff, and industrial waste. This water is cleaned somewhat by exposure to sunlight, aeration, and microorganisms in the water. Groundwater (private wells and some public water supplies) generally takes longer to become contaminated, but the natural cleaning process also may take much longer. Groundwater can be contaminated by disease-producing pathogens, careless disposal of hazardous household chemical-containing products, agricultural chemicals, and leaking underground storage tanks.