25 effective ways to reduce water pollution

As technology advances and societal development gains momentum in the contemporary scenario, it is not hard to miss the after-effects of the current lifestyle which is contributing to the pollution of natural resources. One of the most alarming causes today is the incessant pollution of water bodies.

For instance, in developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped untreated into waters, making the water hazardous for usage. Furthermore, millions of gallons of domestic waste find its way into the water bodies, which makes the process of natural cleaning impossible and makes pollution an irrevocable problem.

However, there are certain practices that we can adopt to reduce water pollution and restore this precious resource back to its formal glory. Some of them have been listed below as a brief summary followed by small sections explaining them.



Avoid Plastic

This goes without that saying that plastic is one of the biggest contributors to water pollution. It is impacting the natural temperature of the water and adversely affecting the marine life as well as its stability. Plastic has the ability to stay around for years at the end and a cleaner’s worst nightmare. By reducing plastic usage, we cut down its impact on water resources by half. Natural fibers can replace plastic for a more ecological decision.

plastic waste

Give Recycle a Chance

Recycling is an age-old concept that plays a significant role in avoiding wastage and pollution. Instead of throwing away the plastic bottles, papers, and many others, one can recycle these materials and contribute to ecological efficiency. This will prevent the outflow of non-degradable products and play an important role in diminishing the cause of erosion and pollution.

Plant Trees

Trees can improve the quality of water. How? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “Vegetation and plant debris slow surface runoff, encouraging sediment and sediment-bound contaminants to settle before entering surface water. Once in the soil, contaminants can be immobilized and transformed by soil microbes or taken up by vegetation. Groundwater flowing through the root zone is also filtered by these processes. Additionally, trees can trap windblown dust before it enters stream and lakes.” Trees and plants helP filter water and enhance the quality of underground water.

plant trees
water sparingly

Use Water Sparingly

Via judicial usage of water, one can avoid runoffs and water contamination, while saving the resource at the same time. Sparing use of water will also reduce the investment in treatment which can further be used to improve methods treating water pollution in other domains.

Reduce the Usage of Pesticides and Herbicides

Though pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides though are a boon for the agricultural community, it can wreak havoc on the water quality. These chemicals are absorbed by the soil and can seep into the groundwater and pollute it.


pesticides sprinkling

These chemicals can also run off to other water bodies and contribute to pollution there as well. Instead of the chemicals, natural fertilizers can be helpful in reducing water pollution while keeping the plants healthy and pathogen free. Some of these fertilizers can be based on composting or any other practices. There are a lot of other options too.

Proper Sewage and Waste Management

sewage wastewater treatment

Industries and municipal corporations, before releasing the waste into the water bodies must mandate treatment and management to nullify the hazardous properties of the disposed of materials. High-end water treatment plants have 5 major processes, including chemical coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. Some of the other specific treatments include sludge treatment which adds the extra layer of protection.

Adopt Sustainable Practices

A dedicated subject called the Sustainable Water Resource Management helps understand the measures that can be adopted to reduce water pollution. However, for a common man, by curbing the amount of domestic waste let into the drains and pipes that connect to main water bodies can significantly cut down on the pollutants in the water. One can also decrease the amount of water based electric items like coolers and many others to reduce the high consumption of water. The water used here is often the hot water which when mixed with the natural resource, changes nature.

sustainable water resources

Adopt Water Saving Techniques

rain water harvesting

By undertaking water saving methods like water harvesting, and drip irrigation to name a few, one can reduce the usage of water which can save water as well as ensure clean water for several purposes. Water saving can also amp the water quality which can help in the natural cleansing system of the water bodies and let take nature charge of the pollution reduction.

Refrain from Pouring Oils into the Kitchen Sink

Oils are immiscible and form a thick layer over water which corrodes its nature to excruciating levels. Now imagine the great oil spills on seas and oceans and the impact it has over these water bodies and the life present. A single act of pouring oil into the kitchen sink can amplify into long stretches of oil sheets on water bodies which can block the oxygen supply underneath the surface and also the penetration of the sun rays which is important for the growth of the underwater flora.

Refrain from Flushing Chemicals

chemical waste

Chemicals have toxic elements that can depreciate the quality of water and make it unfit for any purpose at all. Not to mention, the presence of chemicals can also alter the pH balance in the water, which can either make it too acidic or too alkaline, affecting the marine life, the fauna and the flora that depends upon it for its survival. These chemicals seep in when there is too much detergent used or any other synthetic elements and can be difficult to separate. The alternative is to use phosphate free soaps and detergents.

Avoid Littering​

This goes without saying. Littering is one of the biggest contributors to water pollution. From industrial wastes to domestic wastes as well as wastes as a product of religious beliefs, these contaminants are highly lethal for the water quality and the aquatic life. Such waste can alter the ecosystem of the water and cause an imbalance in conventional life patterns. 

One such example is beaching of dolphins and whales who often digress from their migration paths owing to the change in water temperatures. So before one flicks a wrapper into the water body, one should think about the widespread implication.

Reduce the Usage of Domestic Chemicals

domestic chemicals

Soaps, detergents, phenyls, and many other domestic chemicals can be an added factor that gives ways to water pollution. Post usage, these chemicals find their way into the seas and lakes via drain pipes. Since they are untreated, they are hazardous to the quality of the water and can magnify the impact of water pollution.

Go Organic

Switch from plastic to cloth bags, natural fibers and other materials which are environmentally friendly and can be easily dissolved. By going organic, one can reduce the carbon footprint and also reduce water pollution. For instance, a cloth can be segregated during the treatment procedure and reused effectively without releasing it into the water body. A win-win situation indeed.

Use Energy and Water Conserving Machines

wonder wash

Today technology though has been responsible for the amplified wastage is also looking for ways to curb the exponential wastage. Some of them are environmentally friendly appliances which deploys much less water, chemicals, and energy, making them sustainable as well as economically efficient. One such example is the foot powered washing machine that is portable and ecological.

Check for Leaks

One of the most commonly occurring issues in almost all houses and commercial properties is the leakage. Though it might seem trivial but not mending these leaks not only contribute to gallons of water wasted but also water pollution. A simple fix can go a long way in sealing the deal against the pollution of this resource,

water leakage
wastage of water

Be Mindful of Wastage

This cannot be emphasized enough. By not wasting water, we are paving a way for its conservation which can reduce the impact on foreign elements on this resource.

Use Water Only on As-Per-Need-Basis

Water conserved is water saved. By being mindful of the domestic activities and the elements used, it is possible to shrink the mammoth issue of water pollution as less water means less chemically infused water released. This will also help save time and resources otherwise deployed during the treatment.

water conservation
saving water

Plant Water Conserving Trees

Trees are always there to rescue the earth from impending disasters. They reduce runoff by breaking rainfall and allow the water to go to the earth via its trunk. This prevents storm water from carrying pollutants to the ocean.

Turn off Your Taps

It is simple logic. When not in use, the taps are meant to be turned off. By not turning off the taps, several gallons of water is wasted every day which runs into the water bodies, carrying with itself the pollutants that it picked on the way.

close the tap
wash with full load

Wash Only With a Full Load

This tip offers a triple whammy as it reduced water pollution, wastage, and energy consumption. By using full load, there is less scope of water pollution as the activity of washing clothes is not repetitive unlike when the load is only half the potential.

Optimize Water Usage

By undertaking water saving techniques, one can reduce the amount of water wasted on mundane tasks and recycle it for further usage. For instance, instead of using a hose for car washing, one can use a bucket and wet cloth to wipe the water down. So water pollution, though is a mega social issue, can be curbed by bringing out small changes in the daily practices. By turning off the taps or going organic, it can help save gallons of water from being subjected to hazardous elements. 

optimize water usage

The work towards water conservation is a joint effort by the public as well the government and if baby steps are taken by the former, it is easy to follow suit and make reformations that will help gratify the huge the undertaking of curbing water pollution.

boiling water

Reuse the Boiled Water

If it is absolutely necessary, one can boil the elements and can then reuse the water as a stock, for stewing, for gardening purposes. This will overturn the need to use fresh water and undertake the whole cooking process that will lead to oil and fat infused water to run down the kitchen drain and let out into the water body which is harmful the water. Consuming the left out boiled water is safe.

Steam Instead of Boiling

Boiling vegetables or meat requires more water while on the other hand, steaming requires less quantity of water to prepare a meal. The Asian cuisines might have some water saving tips up its ante. Less water means less wastage and less runoff into the main water bodies. An overall win indeed.

garbage disposal

Efficiency Domestic Disposal System

Try avoiding garbage disposal and sludge. In the case of solid wastes, collect the degradable ones and mix them together to make compost. This will not only avoid the sludge accumulation drained into the water bodies but also enrich the quality of soil and make it fertile. For the non-biodegradable objects, recycling is the best option.

Reduce Food Wastage

Lots of water is leveraged to make food products, especially processed goods like cereals and many more. The waster after the entire production is later released into the streams and lakes as a pollutant. A common man can at least avoid food wastage and help, maybe in a small percentage, to reduce the adverse impact on water.

excess food

Final Words

By effectively achieving this aim, we will be able to bring forth a change in the other natural elements as well. One of them is the betterment of flora or fauna, a factor that heavily relies on these water bodies for their survival. There are scores of stories where a stop at the polluting activities brought about a change in the local fauna. You can read about the adverse impact here.

The Best Experience Ever

This guide is written by our expert Suzanne D. Cantrell, especially know for her great contribution to work on ideology to save water and also provide her amazing theory to reduce water pollution..
Suzanne D. Cantrell

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