Industrial Effluents: as a Nature of Water Pollution

Industrial development is considered as an important standard in the flow of modern development.

The maximum population is employed in industries in developed countries. Those countries where industrial development is lesser, are in the category of developing countries. In industries, water is used in many forms.

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During the manufacturing process, used water is disposed off in rivers.

Thus, industries located on banks of rivers or lakes or coasts of seas pollute them. If such water is not disposed in any water source, it goes underground and pollutes the groundwater. Water disposed off by industries contains many carbonic and non-carbonic elements dissolved in it and some of them are poisonous.

Among developing industries, chemical industries are coming up in large numbers. They manufacture paint, cleaning equipment’s, artificial fibers, medicines, plastic etc. Similarly, sugar industries, breweries, paper industry, fertilizer industry and leather industry also dispose off effluents in fresh water sources. Most of such disposed materials contain carbonic elements which neutralize through bacteria at a slow pace resulting in bad smell in water for a long time, change of taste in the water also occurs. During refining such water, other particles react with chlorine and produce chlorinated carbonic compounds.

Effluents coming out of industries contain non-carbonic material, mainly calcium, sulphate, nitrate, ammonia chloride, potassium and sodium. Besides this, hot water coming out from industries increases the temperature of water in water sources whenever it flows into them.

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This also affects vegetation and biotic organisms in water. After mining, which is necessary for industries, the mining soil also flows with rain water into the water sources during rains. It then mixes in the water and the chemicals contained in it pollute the water. Mercury, arsenic, copper and cadmium are the main poisonous metals, which mix in water after disposal from industries.

Among them, mercury is the most harmful metal, which mixes in water in liquid form at normal temper­ature. It evaporates in a poisonous state if temperature does not increase. Mercury is causing great harm to water at present. In the world, 5,000 tons of mercury in different forms is being disposed in natural surroundings. Its direct example is the tragedy of Minimata Gulf situated on the sea coast of Japan.

In 1950, the inhabitants and fishermen of this Gulf suffered from blindness, mental diseases, weakening of muscles and paralysis. The reason was the consumption of polluted water of this gulf in which mercury effluent of a plastic factory, located in this area, were being disposed off. Mercury compound converts into methyl mercury (H3C, Hg, CH3), which is a poisonous form. It then reaches the food chain and affects man and other living organisms.

Man is expanding industrialization at a fast rate for satisfying his needs, and also for a fast economic development. Disposed water flowing from industries pollutes lakes, rivers and ponds through ions present in it. All the vast flowing rivers in densely populated areas of the world have lost their original form.

Now they have become dumping grounds of effluents disposed off by industries. Rivers of North America, Europe and Japan have lost their original form. In India also, water pollution through industries is increasing at a faster speed. In the capital region, 4.5 lakh litre DDT is released in the river Yamuna, every day. Similarly, on the banks of the sacred river Ganges especially in Kanpur, leather industry, fertilizer industry, paper industry, oil refinery and many other chemical plants have developed on both sides of the river to such an extent that the water in Kanpur has not remained fit for drinking.

In Tamil Nadu, the Palaeer River has become polluted because of leather industry units in Ranipet, Ayur and Baniyabadi cities. In West Bengal, river Hoogly is polluted due to jute and paper pulp industries and in Tamil Nadu, the river Kaveri (Cauvery) has lost its original form due to the presence of Bharat Heavy Electricals limited. Along with rivers, the water of lakes and groundwater is also becoming polluted by industrial effluents.

There may be hardly any river or lake which may be existing in the same form in the country as it was fifty years ago. Their area has shrunk and the capacity of holding water has reduced. These tanks are the main centers of drinking water, irrigation and fisheries devel­opment, but due to disposal of industrial effluents have all have become polluted. Chilka and Dal lakes are the direct examples.

Underground water is also being polluted by industrial effluents. In Rajasthan, poisonous water disposed by dyeing factories of Pali and Sanganer is destroying the quality of groundwater by infiltration under the ground. Industrial cities situated on the coast of oceans are polluting sea water. Thus, disposal of industrial wastes and effluent water in water sources is the main reason of water pollution, which is the result of wrong use of water by man because of his strong desire for economic benefit. Hence, only he can remove this problem of water pollution.

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