An Overview of Water Pollution and Pollutants in Britain Today

water pollution - a beach polluted by single use plastic bottles

Water is the most abundant compound found on Earth. Unfortunately, most of the water around us is polluted to a certain degree. Water pollution simply means that there is a build-up of substances in the water that leads to health problems in people, animals and plants. Over the past decades, lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and even seas and oceans have accumulated a lot of compounds and substances that shouldn’t be there.

Research shows that tap water in all big cities in the world, including New York and London, contain contaminants that can lead to health problems.

Some contaminants which could be present include:

  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Micro plastic and or fibers
  • ….

ZeroWater has compiled a comparative list of contaminants it can remove from your water. You can find all this information here: What does ZeroWater remove?.

What are these contaminants and what can you do about them?

water pollution - sewage1. Sewage

Disgusting as it may sounds, sewage is one of the most common contaminants of tap water. While most cities have sewerage systems. Most of them are old and defective or no longer work at 100 percent proficiency. Often waste from these systems leaches into the soil or groundwater and later ends up in your local water supply. Your local water treatment plant takes steps to get rid of sewage toxins in the water they process. There are times when there are lapses and even their best efforts may not take care of the problem. Sewage can also be a problem when it gets into plants. Many of the recent E-Coli outbreaks were contributed to sewage leaking it’s content into the ground water which was used to water vegetable gardens.

2. Waste and chemicals from agriculture

More than 75% of land in the UK and Wales is used for agriculture. Most of the waste that comes from the farming industry goes directly into the soil and our ground water. This includes a variety of chemicals including sheep dip, pesticides and fertilizers as well as slurries and manure. Some of the better known or most common compounds are Nitrates and Nitrites.

You can find additional information on these contaminants in our previous articles:

water pollution -agriculture

We have written many similar articles, simply use the search functionality in our news site to look for the contaminant you need information about.

3. Oil pollution

Many people associate oil spillages with the high seas,. But what you may not know is that every year there are about 3,000 spillage incidents in the UK.  A significant portion of that oil leaks into the ground water and soils affected may well end up in your local water supply.

4. River dumping

River dumping is very common all across the UK. While you may not find mounds of garbage. There are all sorts of things dumped into our rivers. As these pollutants break down and decompose they end up in the water cycle and thus also in your local water supply.

5. Marine dumping

Huge amounts of waste are dumped into oceans. Unknown quantities of it end up right back into your home either via your local water supply or in the food that you eat.

Recycling plants didn’t give these new contaminants much attention when they were designing their processes as they simply didn’t know about all of them. The media has highlighted the quantities of plastic fibres found in our drinking water. We recommend a reading of our news article, What Are the Health Risks Associated With Plastic Fibres Found In Most Bottled Water?, which discusses this global environmental problem in more detail.

All this sounds very scary. Tap water is not as free from contaminants as you thought.  So what can you do about it?

The bottled water industry realised these facts a long time ago and convinced lots of people that the only way to minimise risk in their drinking water was to drink bottled brands.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the problem. You also become a part of the pollution problem when you consume bottled water. You indirectly increase the volume of plastic waste which is bad for our environment.

Bottled water is also expensive. Think about how much money you would spend on it every year.

The best thing to do is to invest in a form of personal water filtration system, such as a water filter jug. This is a small investment that enables you to drink the purest tasting water at all times. They are also cost effective – you can get an excellent jug for less than £40 and the only thing you have to buy from time to time are the filters.

ZeroWater has some of the best water filter jugs in the market. Our filtration systems have been thoroughly tested and receive great reviews, earning their place as one of the most affordable and reliable personal water filtration system you can buy in Britain today.

You can buy one today on our website’s shop here.

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