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By laws | Dams | Fish | Plants | Pollution | Watershed | Water Treatment | Wetlands


By Rachel B and Brienna

Pollution is defined as harmful change in the natural environment caused by human activities. There are many types of pollution. There is air pollution, water pollution, and sound pollution. Air pollution is caused by car fuel and heat exhaust from buildings. Pouring chemicals into rivers, human waste and wrappers that are thrown into the river, cause water pollution. Sound pollution is caused by loud noise for example from loud banging traffic noise and screaming.

Water pollution is a very serious problem in the world. Estimates suggest nearly 1.5 billion people lack safe drinking water and that at least 5 million deaths per year can be attributed to waterborne diseases.

Water pollution affects the water we drink, the food we eat, the rain that falls, and animal and fish habitat. For example, harbour seals are becoming hazardous waste because people are polluting the waters where the seals live. When these animals become sick, and humans eat them, the sickness can be passed on to humans, who then get very sick and can even die.

There are many things that cause water pollution. Animals and human waste cause water pollution. Toxic chemicals are thrown into the water carelessly, factories are being built to close to the river and people are throwing garbage into the river all cause pollution.

The Bow River is 623 kilometers long. Its source is the Bow Glacier and Bow Lake in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. It flows southeast where it joins the Old Man River near Grassy Lake, forming the South Saskatchewan River. It eventually drains into the Hudson Bay. Pollutants that are put into the river at its start, can impact people, plants and fish long distances away.

Many different types of pollutants enter into the Bow River. These include pesticides, fertilizers, wrappers, cans and other types of litter, bacteria from dogs, cats and cattle, as well as pollutants from runoffs and storm drains. A recent walk along the Bow revealed many types of pollutants. It was amazing to see sleeping bags, foam, and shopping carts on the river banks as well as basic garbage in the river.

There are many things we can do to stop polluting our waters. We can all help by recycling and reusing, sharing information regarding what causes pollution, volunteering to clean up river ways, and refraining from littering.

We can also: