5 Causes of Water Pollution, Prevent and Make the Water Environment Better!

Causes of Water Pollution – The existence of water is one of the natural resources that is needed by all people on earth for their daily lives. Call it for washing, cooking, bathing, sanitation needs, to industrial needs.

Just imagine if there was no water on this planet, of course it would cause a lot of havoc. Therefore, the existence of water is very much taken into account and guarded by some people because it is a priceless “treasure”.

But unfortunately, at this time, problems around water have become a serious concern. One of these problems is water pollution which is usually caused by various kinds of waste resulting from human activities. If the water is polluted, of course it will affect its quality as the main commodity in life.

Then, what are the causes of water pollution? What is the most visible impact of this water pollution?

So that Sinaumed’s can understand this environmental pollution, let’s look at the following review!

Definition of Water Pollution

Before discussing the causes of water pollution, Sinaumed’s needs to know what water pollution means.

Water pollution is a change in conditions in water reservoirs, such as rivers, lakes and oceans due to human activities. We certainly already know that water has many benefits for human life, one of which is the potential as a tourist attraction.

Based on Government Regulation No. 20/1990 concerning Water Pollution Control, it also put forward a definition of water pollution, namely: “Water pollution is the entry or inclusion of living things, substances, energy, and or other components into water by human activities so that the quality of the water down to a certain limit that causes water to be of no other use according to its designation .” (Article 1 point 2)

As a result of water pollution which continues to occur and complicates human life, the government does not just sit idly by. Many efforts have been made by the government to control water pollution, one of which is by making regulations regarding the management of the surrounding environment.

One of the rules is contained in the Regional Regulation of the Province of Bali No.4 of 2005 concerning Control of Environmental Pollution and Destruction in article 5, which states that:

  1. Everyone must maintain the preservation of environmental functions by means of prevention, supervision, control, and restoration of environmental quality due to environmental pollution and/or damage.
  2. Anyone who carries out a business that contains the potential for environmental pollution and/or damage must provide true and accurate information regarding the control of environmental pollution and/or damage.

Therefore, efforts to prevent water pollution are not only carried out by the government. but also all the people who take advantage of the presence of water in the water reservoir.

5 Causes of Water Pollution

Actually, the cause of environmental pollution, especially water pollution, is not only caused by humans, but in fact it can be due to the environment around it.

Well, in general, the causes of water pollution are five, namely,

1. Garbage

The first cause of water pollution is due to the presence of waste that contains organic compounds and stagnates in the water. This type of waste is usually in the form of food industry waste, household waste, animal waste to humans.

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If the remaining waste is disposed of into the water, it will cause pollution causing dissolution, precipitation, and colloidal formation. It should be noted, if the waste undergoes dissolution and precipitation, of course it will make the color of the water cloudy.

2. Factory waste

There are many types of industrial factories that produce organic waste that causes water pollution. For example, there is textile factory waste, paper factory waste, paint factory waste, pharmaceutical factory waste, and steel factory waste.

These industries will usually produce organic waste that smells bad and even contains sulfuric acid. If the industrial waste is later discharged into waterways or rivers, of course it will cause water pollution and damage the existing ecosystem. This waste usually contains viruses or bacteria.

Generally, this organic waste contains protein and amine groups, so when it is degraded by microorganisms, it will later decompose into volatile and foul-smelling compounds, for example NHვ.

3. Inorganic Compounds

Water pollution caused by inorganic compounds, usually in the form of metals. Almost the same as the previous cause, namely the content that is difficult to degrade or “digested” by microorganisms.

Especially if the type of waste that is disposed of contains mercury, lead, and cadmium, which are three very dangerous if accidentally consumed by humans.

The most obvious example of water pollution due to industrial waste has occurred in Minamata, Japan. The fishermen around Minamata Bay consume fish whose water has been polluted by mercury. As a result, many victims fell and suffered nerve damage which is called Minamata disease. More than eighty people died as a result of the water pollution.

4. Organic Compounds

These organic compounds can be in the form of pesticides, detergents, to oil waste. The chemical content in it can of course be dangerous if the polluted water is consumed by humans.

The chemical content is grouped into:

  • Soap (detergent, shampoo and other cleaning agents)
  • Pest control agents (insecticides)
  • Chemical dyes
  • Radioactive substance

5. Soil deposits

For the cause of this pollution, usually due to the influence of the surrounding environment in the form of soil or mud from erosion. Especially in rivers close to volcanic eruptions, surely the water will be polluted by the remains of the material released by the volcano.

Usually, the color of the river water will become cloudy due to the presence of soil or mud that gets into it. It is also possible that in the future, river water will become difficult for humans to use in meeting their daily needs.

Even though natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, storms and earthquakes also cause water pollution, the reality on the ground is that human activities are the most dominant in contaminating water quality.

Water Quality Parameters

In order to find out how the quality of the water in a water reservoir is, it is necessary to carry out certain tests. Whether or not the water in a watershed (DAS) is healthy can be seen from the quality of the water.

Water quality testing can be done in three ways, namely physical tests, chemical tests, and biological tests.

Based on Physics Test

In this physics test, the parameters used are temperature, current speed, brightness, and water level. Measurement of these physical parameters also includes measurements of solid objects around the water reservoir.

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Based on Chemical Test

Then, there are also water quality parameters based on chemical tests, which are grouped into inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry. This chemical test is very important to determine whether the water in the shelter is good or not good for human use. The parameters include dissolved oxygen (DO), pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphorus, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and others.

Based on Biological Test

Subsequent tests are based on biology, which relates to the presence of aquatic microorganism populations in it. An indicator to see whether the water in the shelter is good or not for use is based on the number of Fecal Coliform bacteria colonies.

Coliform bacteria are microorganisms found in human and animal feces. Thus, the presence of these bacteria in the water will indicate the possibility of the presence of other pathogenic bacteria.

The Impact of Water Pollution on Life

  • The process of photosynthesis of plants in the water is also disrupted and because the surface of the bottom of the water is covered, fish eggs may not be able to hatch.
  • Garbage deposits also block food sources for fish and block sunlight.
  • The emergence of various germs that develop in water and are consumed by humans.
  • The content of harmful substances such as lead, mercury, and carbon can damage human organs and cause cancer.
  • Causing the death of ancient biota such as plankton, fish, and birds
  • Leads to mutations in cancer cells and leukemia
  • The decrease in dissolved oxygen in the water so that life in the water becomes disrupted.
  • Deterioration of groundwater quality.
  • Water can even be a medium for the spread of disease.
  • Strong scent.

Ways to Overcome Water Pollution

  1. Placing factory or industrial areas away from residential areas so that the waste is not wasted in local waterways.
  2. Disposal of industrial waste must be regulated properly so as not to pollute the environmental ecosystem.
  3. Expanding the green movement.
  4. Supervise the use of pesticides and other chemicals that may cause pollution.
  5. Take strict action against environmental polluters.
  6. Conduct socialization to increase public awareness not to throw garbage in the river.
  7. Agricultural intensification.
  8. Imposing strict rules and punishments for people who litter, especially in rivers.
  9. Control the use of pesticides.
  10. Recycle animal manure to be used as manure instead of being dumped in rivers.

However, in carrying out these countermeasures, of course there are obstacles, namely in the form of a lack of public awareness to dispose of waste in its place to the lack of government attention to environmental pollution that occurs.

Well, that’s an explanation of what causes water pollution and how to deal with it. Even though there are still obstacles in the response effort, we as future generations should not just ignore them, OK? Sinaumed’s can reduce water pollution, starting with a small business, namely by not throwing garbage in the river.

Book Recommendations & Related Articles



Artajaya, I Wayan Eka, and Ni Kadek Felyanita Purnama Putri. (2021). Factors Causing Water Pollution in the Bindu River. Saraswati Law Journal, Vol.03, No.02.

Dadan, Rukandar. Water Pollution: Definition, Causes, and Impacts.

Rosmeiliyana, R. (2021). TA: WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS AND POLLUTION CONTROL STRATEGY OF THE CISANGKAN RIVER, CIMAHI CITY (Doctoral dissertation, Bandung National Institute of Technology).

Warlina, L. (2004). Water pollution: sources, impacts and countermeasures. Bogor Agricultural Institute . Unpublished.