Pure water, H2O, is hard
to find outside of the laboratory. As precipitation moves over
and through the earth chemicals are dissolved in the water. Wastes
are placed on and in the land and discharged to lakes and streams
can contaminate the water. Pollutants are materials added to water
which can cause bad effects if present in high enough concentrations.
Communities work together to reduce contaminant levels and make
sure that we have good water quality.
Mercury... dioxin... phosphorus... coliform bacteria...
we often hear of these pollutants and their impacts on our lives.
Typically present in the environment only at trace levels, these
substances can have serious effects on human and ecosystem health.
Some pollutants come from near our homes and others from far away,
but they are present across the State of Michigan, from Detroit
to Isle Royale.
In this exercise, you will be introduced to three
types of pollutants: toxic substances, nutrients, and pathogens.
Their sources and impacts will be identified and strategies to
control their impact on water quality will be described.