Water and Soil Pollution

Rapid advancement in industries, transport, agriculture, thermal and nuclear generation etc. is deteriorating our environment and causing pollution.

Any undesirable change in the quality of water which makes it unsuitable for use by humans and by other living organisms is called water pollution.

The sources of water pollution are household detergents, sewage, industrial waste, oil spills, thermal pollution and chemical fertilizers.Water pollution adversely affects the aquatic life.The polluted water spread various diseases in human beings such as jaundice and cholera.

Water pollution can be controlled by treating industrial effluent before discharge, by setting-up of sewage water treatment plant and by avoiding the use of river and pond water for washing clothes, bathing and throwing garbage.

Any contamination in the soil due to man-made chemicals or substances is called soil pollution.

The sources of the soil pollution include industrial waste, urban waste, biomedical waste etc.

The soil pollution can be prevented or controlled by safe disposal of waste, use of bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers, and recycling of waste.

The places where solid wastes generated by the urban areas are dumped and covered with a layer of soil are called sanitary landfills.

The solid organic wastes can be converted into manures.Manures are obtained by the partial decaying of farm refuse, animal dung, straw and residues of the crop. Manures provide all the necessary elements required by crops.

The soil erosion is the removal or disappearance of soil, by water (flooding, rain) or by wind. It can be natural or man-made.

The soil can be conserved by step farming in hilly areas, afforestation, strong embankment, crop rotation and by making water channels.

The waste can be catergorised into two types, namely biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste.

Biodegradable waste can be degraded by the microorganisms while non-biodegradable waste cannot be degraded by the microorganisms.

Paper and vegetable peels are the examples of biodegradable wastes, while plastic is an example of non-biodegradable waste.

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  • Q1

    Define the following:
    i) Sanitary landfill
    ii) Soil pollution


    i) Sanitary landfill: Places where solid waste generated by the urban area are dumped and covered with layer of soil is called sanitary landfills
    ii) Soil pollution: Contamination of soil by human made chemicals or substances is called soil pollution.

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  • Q2

    Mention the contribution of following sources in water and soil pollution respectively:
    i) Thermal power plants
    ii) Chemical fertilizers


    (i) Thermal power plants when release hot waste water into the nearby water bodies, it causes warming of water bodies, which harms the animal and plant life present in it.
    (ii) Chemical fertilizers greatly reduce the ability of the soil bacteria to decay waste and produce nutrients. This reduces the soil fertility and soil is said to be polluted.

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  • Q3

    Give any two causes of oil spills?


    Following are the two causes of oil spills:
    a. Overturning of oil tankers
    b. Offshore oil mining

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  • Q4

    Name any two sources of soil pollution and water pollution each.





    Sewage, industries waste


    Urban area, biomedical waste

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  • Q5

    Mention any one harmful effect of extensive use of pesticides such as DDT in agricultural field.


    Pesticides such as DDT when used in agricultural field alter the basic nature of soil and kills the soil organisms.

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