While agriculture puts food on our tables, some modern agricultural practices result in pollution. This pollution can degrade the land, environment, and ecosystem. Some pollution even makes its way into your drinking water, causing you and your family harm.
The high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen found in synthetic fertilizers can end up in lakes and rivers. These nutrients threaten the health of the aquatic animals as well as the people who rely on that water. Nutrient runoff can result in:
- Beaches closing due to algae blooms
- Limited fishing activities
- Severe health problems
- Loss of income for water-related jobs
Where Does Farm Water Pollution Come From?
Agricultural water pollution comes from two main sources: the macronutrients found in synthetic crop fertilizers and from industrial animal agriculture. Factory farms, which house thousands of animals, generate millions of gallons of animal waste annually. Industrial farmers typically store this waste in pits or open ponds.
To make use of all the waste, factory farms spray it onto farm fields as fertilizer. These pits can leak or rupture, especially during bad weather. Animal waste can contain:
- Pharmaceutical residues
- Heavy metals such as copper and zinc
- Harmful bacteria
All of these elements can contaminate local water supplies. For example, when it rains, the excess waste from the farm fields runs into streams and rivers and seeps into groundwater. Some of this waste has high ammonia levels as well. This is why it’s important to treat your water with effective water treatment solutions.
How Does Agriculture Affect Water?
Some of the different types of agriculture pollution include:
- Water clouded with sediment can smother fish larvae and clog fish gills.
- Inefficient irrigation can transport pesticides into the water and cause erosion.
- Nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus can cause algae blooms. These blooms can kill fish, as well as create a bad taste and odor in drinking water.
- Herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides can enter the water, contaminate food sources for animals, and poison their habitat.
As you can see, agricultural practices can not only impact various surrounding ecosystems, but also the quality of your drinking water. At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, we offer thorough water testing services that will determine the contaminants that could be lurking in your water.
How Does Polluted Water Affect Me?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), agriculture plays a significant role in water contamination. When you consume contaminated water over a long period, you may experience various side effects. For instance, water with excessive sedimentation is linked to high levels of viruses, parasites, and bacteria. These microorganisms can lead to cramps, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea.
Chemical pesticides can store themselves in your body fat. These chemicals are linked to adverse health effects in the following body systems:
You can get water-borne diseases from drinking water contaminated with waste from infected animals, too. Infants have a higher risk when it comes to nitrates in drinking water. Groundwater has a higher likelihood of nitrate contamination, making this information especially relevant if you use groundwater as your drinking source.
Protect Yourself from Polluted Water
You can protect yourself and others from exposure to pollutants by having your water tested and treated by our water treatment experts. Drinking filtered water will help ensure you and your family stay healthy and protected from harmful contaminants.
A Hague WaterMax® system is a great water treatment option that will thoroughly treat your water and free it from contaminants, sediment, and dirt. Paired with a Hague Reverse Osmosis system, this effective water treatment solution will also give you the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to your drinking water.
The regulations for water pollution and agriculture vary from state to state. Don’t risk your health with contaminated water. Call Hague Quality Water of Maryland today at (410) 757-2992 for a free water analysis.
NOTE: Free water tests are for new customers to determine water quality and treatment solutions.