Water And Soil Pollution In Pakistan Environmental Sciences Essay

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 1697 words

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Water is polluted when it consiste that things. that make it useless for a given use. Fresh water is basically to the survival of human beings and mostly other land-dependent life forms.97 % of the earth’s water is the salt water of oceans and seas. Most of the remaining 3 %is in polar ice caps, glaciers, the atmosphere or underground and hard to reach. Only 0.4 %is available for use. This water supply is maintained by water evaporating from oceans and lakes and then falling to the earth as rain in a process called the ‘water cycle’. However, growing population, increased economic activity and industrialisation has resulted in an increased demand for fresh water. In addition, rapid urbanisation is changing patterns of consumption. This has caused a severe misuse of water resources. Discharging untreated sewage and chemical wastes directly into rivers, lakes and drains has become a traditional habit. Water bodies can no longer cope with the increasing pollution load.

In Pakistan, water is mostly used for industrial, agricultural and domestic purposes.

The table given below shows its percentage consumption for every use.

Purpose Percentage

Agriculture 69%

Industry 23%

Domestic uses 8%

Sources of water pollution

Municipal Sewage;

Municipal sewage is a main source of pollution. About two million wet tonnes of human excreta are annually produced in the urban sector of which around 50% go into water bodies to pollute them. National Conservation Strategy (NCS) states that almost 40% of deaths are belong to water produce diseases.

Domestic wastewater collects on the streets and in low-lying areas. The situation is further aggravated by the addition of untreated wastes from small-scale industries.

In Pakistan, drinking water supply lines and open sewage drains in the streets are laid side by side. As a result, water is mainely polluted when pipes broke. many main sewers are between 30-50ft below ground level and are made of 10ft cement sections linked without proper safety seals. Poor connections linked with deteriorating low quality sewer pipes cause a lot of leakage. This outflow from sewer mixes with the water table and the contamination is carried to deeper levels. Hence the ground water which is considered safe becomes adulterated with everything from PCBs, lead, cyanides, mercury, solvents, hydrocarbon compounds, hospital and pharmaceutical industry waste.

Ravi teems with toxic industrial effluent and untreated domestic sewage as soon as it enters Pakistan. This has made it literally a large open sewer.


Industrial wastewater contains toxic chemicals. It is dangerous that most industries have been begning without proper planning and waste treatment plants. They just dispose of untreated toxic waste into nearby drains, canals or rivers. Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi, Qasoor share major contamination loads into their water bodies

According to an EPD source, 9000 million gallons of wastewater having 20,000 tons of BOD5 loading are daily discharged into water bodies from the industrial sector. Automobile service stations are another major contributor to surface water pollution. Untreated oil, grease and dirt find its way into nearby canals and rivers where it damages the ecosystem

• Agriculture;

Excessive and uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides develop pollution agricultural run off. This not only pollutes the surface drains but the water trickling down to lower layer soil causes a severe pollution of the natural water table Over abstraction of groundwater prompts recharge from the surface water drains, which themselves are severely contaminated.

Water pollution and humans;

The world health organization brief that 25-30% of all hospital admissions are connected to water borne bacterial and parasitic conditions, with 60% of infant deaths caused by water infections.

The taking place belongings on human health of pesticides and other pollutants contain colon and bladder cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, deformation of bones, and infertility.

contagion of fresh water with radio nuclides, which can result from removal, testing, discarding and industrialized of radioactive material, as well as carrying accidents, has led to increased incidence of cancer, developmental abnormality and death.

Cesspools of stagnant dirty water, both in rural and urban areas, account for a large number of deaths caused by potentially fatal diseases like cholera, malaria, dysentery and typhoid.

Nitrate absorption in water above 45mg/l makes it unless for drinking by infant. The nitrates are decreased in body to nitrites and cause a serious blood condition called the “Blue Baby Syndrome”. Higher concentration of nitrate causes gastric cancer.

untouched and highly toxic industrial sewage is also used for irrigation near major cities. This can contaminate crops and consequently affect consumers.

• Water pollution and the environment

Karachi’suntreated wastewater from household manure and manufacturing estate is discharge into the Layari and Malir rivers, which fall into the Arabian Sea. This waste has begin to fake a serious hazard to the aquatic environment, as the channel water is dirty not only with bacteria but also with poisonous chemicals.

Water contamination also extend a savage danger to flora and fauna of Pakistan. Animals drink water out of infected water bodies, sick pond, rivers and streams. This sicken the natural world and some may even die. Oil spill kill thousands of fish in oceans. excessive pollution of river Ravi has destroyed the once existing 42 species of fish and the bird life approximately the river has migrate to other areas. endurance of small invertebrates, micro fauna and flora is also threatened.

Soil pollution

The long term effects of soil pollution are many and can be difficult to deal with, –

How Soil Gets Polluted

Soil is a sort of ecosystem unto itself, and it is relatively sensitive to foreign matter being applied to it. That’s good for us in the case of wanting to add soil amendments, fertilizer and compost to make the soil healthier, but not so good when it comes to soil pollution.

There are many different ways that soil can become polluted, such as:

Seepage from a landfill

Discharge of industrial waste into the soil

Percolation of contaminated water into the soil

damage of underground storage tanks

Excess application of pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer

Solid waste seepage

The most common chemicals involved in causing soil pollution are:

Petroleum hydrocarbons

Heavy metals


Soil pollution happens when these chemicals mix to the soil, either from being directly spilled onto the soil or through contact with soil that has already been polluted.

As the world becomes more industrialized, the long term effects of soil pollution are becoming more of a problem all over the world. It is thought that a full 150 million miles of China’s farmland is contaminated

Soil pollutin problem

Even when soil is not being used for food, the matter of its contamination can be a health concern. This is especially so when that soil is found in parks, neighborhoods or other places where people spend time.

Health effects will be different depending on what kind of pollutant is in the soil. It can range from developmental problems, such as in children exposed to lead, to cancer from chromium and some chemicals found in fertilizer, whether those chemicals are still used or have been banned but are still found in the soil.

Some soil contaminants increase the risk of leukemia, while others can lead to kidney damage, liver problems and changes in the central nervous system.

Those are just the long term effects of soil pollution. In the short term, exposure to chemicals in the soil can lead to headaches, nausea, fatigue and skin rashes at the site of exposure.

Effect of soil pollution

When it comes to the environment itself, the toll of contaminated soil is even more dire. Soil that has been contaminated should no longer be used to grow food, because the chemicals can leech into the food and harm people who eat it.

If contaminated soil is used to grow food, the land will usually produce lower yields than it would if it were not contaminated. This, in turn, can cause even more harm because a lack of plants on the soil will cause more erosion, spreading the contaminants onto land that might not have been tainted before.

In addition, the pollutants will change the makeup of the soil and the types of microorganisms that will live in it. If certain organisms die off in the area, the larger predator animals will also have to move away or die because they’ve lost their food supply. Thus it’s possible for soil pollution to change whole ecosystems

Dealing with soil polltion

There are some ways to get soil back to its pristine condition or to remove the spoiled soil so the land can be used for agriculture again. Tainted soil can be transported to a site where humans won’t be exposed to the chemicals, or the soil can be aerated to remove some of the chemicals (which can add the problem of air pollutionif the chemicals can be released into the air).

Other options include what’s known as bioremidiation, where microorganisms are used to consume the pollution-causing compounds as well as electromechanical systems for extracting chemicals, and containment of chemicals by paving over the tainted area.

None of these are an ideal solution. Preventing contamination in the first place is the best way to go. It won’t eliminate all potential pollution problems, but choosing to farm orgnically is a good way to protect the soil (and yourself) from chemicals found in pesticides and other common garde chemicals;


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