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In today's world, water pollution is becoming a bigger issue in South America, as well as around the globe. This problem exists all over South America due to the lack of laws and restrictions made and enforced by the governments in these countries. In some places, sewage treatment plants are almost non-existent and the ones that do exist are out-dated and not in working condition.
Did you know that in some places in South America sewage runs right out of houses and into nearby rivers and lakes, causing the drinking water to become severely contaminated? This ends up causing harmful side affects on the inhabitants in the area that must survive off this water.
South America is inhabited by 3rd World Countries where development is little, poverty and populations are high, and money is hard up. Governments try to raise money and use tax money to fix the severe problem of water pollution but it is not enough to provide working sewage treatment plants that can accommodate the rapidly growing population and the rapidly decreasing amount of water available for use.
Many people are uneducated of what can be found in sewage. The sewage in South America contains grease, nutrients (nitrates, phosphates, and food waste), debris, oxygen-demanding chemicals (BOD, COD) acids/alkaloids/salts, toxic chemicals pathogens (disease-causing organisms) suspended solids, human drugs, human wastes, animal wastes, pesticides, and detergents
In Mexico City, Mexico, the cause of pollution is the some 30 million inhabitants that contribute to air pollution, smog, and industries that release their wastes into nearby rivers and tributaries. But, in this case, the shortage of water is also a main contribute to the problem. Underground wells become polluted due to the chemicals found in the soils on the land of what used to be covered with several lakes hundreds of years ago.
In other places such as Buenos Aires, Argentina, slaughter houses dump the left over carcasses right into the Rio de la Plata, which end up rotting way due to the polluted water. In 1991, about 3000 cow lungs were chucked into the river that acts as the garbage system. Along with cow lungs, dead pigs, horses, cows themselves, and fish can be found floating throw the river on a daily basis.
People in Sao Paulo, Brazil are so poor that they can't afford a piping system to be installed in their homes to drain sewage out properly to a treatment plant instead of releasing it into the Tiete River. Even though Sao Paulo is rich in water and an envy of its neighboring countries, the inhabitants abuse this fact and industries still release inorganic compounds against the law. Over 1200 companies are pointed at for being responsible for over 80% of the water pollution. Laws have been passed but never followed up on.
In Lima, Peru, the problem is simpler to pinpoint: rain shortage and lack of resource management. Lima is said to be like a desert because it receives less than 30 ml/yr of rain water. Therefore, water must be stored for long periods of time. Most of the water is safely stored in communal tanks, but other families that can't afford proper tanks must store their water in old gas and oil barrels which contain very harmful chemicals.
Lima is so desperate for water that in the winter special fences with material are set up to collect the fog that is constantly hanging in the air. The fog is absorbed into the material is converted into the liquid state and drips into long narrow, open trays that hold the water. This method can provide up to 8m≥/day of water, which is very helpful because out of every 100 houses in Lima only 17 have metered water. The water is quite often used for irrigating and helping in reforestation.
Environmentalists and Geologists of South America find this issue of water pollution tremendously important and have enlisted in the help of Canadian water research plants to help the struggling continent find a long-term solution to the problem. The University of Waterloo Research Centre has played a big part in helping find solutions for this vast growing problem. Th
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
chemicals, food waste, Cryptosporidium,
Organizations mentioned in this paper
government, United Nations, University of Waterloo Research Centre,
Locations talked about in this essay
South America, Tiet√™ River, Sao Paulo, Lima, Peru, Brazil, Latin America, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, South Atlantic, New York, NY.,
Health Conditions referenced in this report
Keywords mentioned in this report
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