The nature was created beautiful and pure. The initial state of Mother Earth was clean, but the ignorance and greed of human kind have changed its face. Trees getting cut wildly, natural resources get irresponsibly manipulated without plans of rehabilitation, and a lot more damages. One part of the earth that is heavily destroyed today is the body of water, whether it is sea, river, or lake. In this article, we are about to take a look at 6 polluted lakes that have become so deadly for any living things.
1. Lake Karachay
Located in central Russia, to the south of Ural Mountains, Lake Karachay was used as a radioactive waste dumping site by Mayak, a nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility. The horror started in 1951 when the dumping started. The initial plan was to use the lake only as a temporary storage to cool down the waste, but it turned out impossible to be done since the radioactive was too toxic to be removed back into the facility from the lake. So, the rest was history, layers of nuclear waste made the lake’s bed and staying around it for an hour inhaling the fume would definitely be lethal. Today, the lake is already dry and the entire floor is covered with concrete blocks to prevent the poisonous dust from escaping and endangering the surrounding, but it is still closed for visitors.
2. Lake Victoria
As one of the African Great Lakes, Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa. It receives 80% of the water from rainfall, 20% from rivers and small streams, and the outflow reaches Nile River. The shores of this lake are occupied with cities and towns and this is the main cause of the lake’s pollution. Untreated industrial and agricultural raw sewage run directly into the lake for more than 30 years. The level of nitrogen and phosphorus in the water gets high and triggers the wild growth of hyacinth that covers the majority of the lake’s surface and depletes the oxygen. This, naturally, makes the water less than ideal for other living things to inhabit it or to be used for daily needs.
3. Lake Onondaga
Dubbed as the most polluted lake in the United States of America, Onondaga is situated in Central New York. It receives water from Onondaga Creek and Ninemile and flow out to Seneca River. For years, sewage and chemical waste have been polluting the water of the lake and human waste is thrown into it with little to no treatment, causing bacteria to grow and using large amount of oxygen making the lake impossible to be inhabited by fish or used as source of clean water. Cleanup of the lake has been going on for the longest of time, though.
4. Bellandur Lake
Located in Bengaluru, India, Bellandur is polluted with untreated sewage water and solid waste. The high development in 1980 made the rain water that was supposed to recharge the lake reduced and caused it get nasty really fast. The industrial waste has been dumped into Bellandur too, making it worse. This once robust lake is now nothing more than just a stinky pool of waste. The heavy layer of chemical on its surface gets burned every now and then. All in all, we can say that it’s the high population that ruins the Bellandur Lake.
5. Lake Taihu
As one of the greatest freshwater lake in China, Taihu is located in the Yangtze Delta plain and housing about ninety islands in various sizes. The number of irresponsible population and industries around the lake cause the dumping of chemical and human waste definitely pollute the water. Efforts to clean it up haven’t shown any success even though it has been going for years. The water is overtaken by algae and cyanobacteria that it is impossible to be used anymore as a source of clean water that the government should look for an alternative lake to supply the need of drinking water.
6. Serra Pelada Lake
Originally, there was no lake in Serra Pelada. It was a village with once an infamous gold mine took place. After all the workers left, the pit where the mine was dug has been filled with rain water and become a small polluted lake. Situated in Brazil, to the south of the mouth of Amazon River, Serra Pelada Lake is poisoned with mercury from the old gold mine. The water is highly contaminated that people who consume fish that lives in the downstream indicated to have elevated level of mercury in their blood.
Seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water, so you can tell how important it is for the sustainability of the life upon it. Sadly, today, the level of pollution of the water has increased by – ironically – the human being who actually needs water the most.
Water pollution is the contamination of ocean, lake, river, streams, and any other forms of stretched water that makes it poisonous for the environment. This contamination can be caused by two things: organic matter – like bacteria and virus – coming from human or animal waste (excrement), and chemical waste from factories and such that release toxic materials into the water making it too dangerous to be used or consumed.
Some points that can cause water pollution:
- Dumping to the ocean
- Radioactive waste
- Sewage and untreated wastewater
- Urbanization and deforestation
Natural phenomenon like landslide and flood can also cause water contamination, but in very small amount and can be highly fixed. The biggest contributor to the damage of the water is – yes, again – humans. This seems to be a problem that increases together with the number of population. The 6 polluted lakes that become so deadly for any living thing above are the real proofs of human’s ignorance.