Did you ever stop to think how important water is? All animals and plants are mostly water. A person’s body is abut 65 percent water. Each of us needs to drink at least five pints of water each day. Big animals need about 15 gallons of water a day.
Water has other uses, too. It is used for washing and air conditioning. It is used for household work and gardening. Steel, gasoline, paper and most other products are made with the help of water. Power plants use water for cooling. Farms, of course, need water to grow food.
Water is even used to carry goods and people around the world. Water is used for swimming, boating and other kinds of recreation. Water is the home of many animals and plants, such as fish, whales, clams and seaweeds.
We can easily see that life would be impossible without water. That is why it is so important to keep our water clean and usable. Yet, polluted water is becoming very common.
Water that has become polluted is unsafe to use. Pollution can happen when sewage and other untreated wastes have been dumped into it. Polluted water can smell, has garbage floating in it, and be unfit for swimming or boating. But even water that looks clean and smells good can be polluted. It may be loaded with germs and dangerous chemicals that you cannot see.
People pollute water in a lot of ways. One way is to allow bathroom and factory wastes to flow through pipes and into waterways without being treated. Another way is to allow soil, fertilizers and industrial wastes to wash from farms, building sites and mining sites into waterways after a rain.
Bacteria can feed on some wastes. Other wastes can be diluted by water in waterways. But nature can only do so much. Man is making more waste than nature can handle. More and better wastewater treatment is needed.
It is a fact that not all towns properly treat their drinking water. Many people think that the water they drink is safe. Most of the time it is. But about 4,000 Americans become sick each year by germs in unsafe drinking water. Many more cases not reported.
Clean water is so important to our lives. We should make an effort to make sure we will have enough of it.