The sewage that enters rivers and streams is caused by dumping, mainly by the sewage treatment plants. These plants do this as a result of most of them are outdated or too small because were built in the mid-seventies because of the Clean Water Act of 1972. This means that either the plants get too full of sewage and the plant has to dump some out of its storage or the clean sewage has not been fully treated. The government needs to invest not only money but also more effort into keeping untreated sewage out of our waterways.
Sewage is also severely degrading in the maritime environment. You might think that “All of the animals have been producing waste in the ocean for centuries. How is human waste different since it is organic?” Well, these days the food we eat is made up with chemicals, while also we have the issue of the quantity of sewage and the unregulated dumping of hygiene products like shampoo.
The effects of untreated sewage dumping can be extremely unhealthy not only to marine life but also human life. For example, sewage can transmit disease either by direct contact or through pollution of water supplies. Among other fecal-borne diseases like parasites such as roundworms. For most of history, populations were so small that the main problem with sewage was the gagging smell of it, and at times spreading disease or parasites locally. Sewage wasn’t all bad because it provided a benefit as a fertilizer for crops.
As the population grew so did the problem of sewage contaminating the water, Like the effect of more feces entered wells, lakes, streams, and rivers, affecting nature as well as human health.
There are many ways oil can get into the ocean or any body of water. Of course the most obvious being oil spills but also ways like natural seeps, consumption, transportation, and extraction of oil. Nearly 85 percent of the 29 million gallons of petroleum that enter North American ocean waters each year as a result of human activities comes from airplanes to cars and small boats. (“SOURCES OF OIL IN THE SEA”) While less than 8 percent comes from tanker or pipeline spills.