Water pollution is linked to ecosystems that have water as their main element and is caused by multiple factors, including untreated wastewater from industrial, agricultural or civil activities that reaches rivers, lakes and seas.
The type of water pollution can be of a chemical, physical or microbiological nature and the consequences can compromise the health of the flora and fauna involved, up to humans, harming the ecosystem and water reserves for drinking use.
There are two main ways through which pollutants reach water: directly or indirectly. Direct pollution occurs when polluting substances are poured directly into watercourses without any purification treatment. The indirect route, on the other hand, takes place when the pollutants arrive in watercourses through the air or soil.
Organic pollutants in water resources: what we need to know
The study Persistent organic pollutants in water resources: Fate, occurrence, characterization and risk analysis, published on the The Science of the total environment, explained: "Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are organic chemicals that can persist in the environment for a longer period due to their non-biodegradability.
The pervasive and bio-accumulative behavior of POPs makes them highly toxic to the environmental species including plants, animals, and humans. The present review specifies the POP along with their fate, persistence, occurrence, and risk analysis towards humans.The different biological POPs degradation methods, especially the microbial degradation using bacteria, fungi, algae, and actinomycetes, and their mechanisms were described.
Moreover, the source, transport of POPs to the environmental sources, and the toxic nature of POPs were discussed in detail. Agricultural and industrial activities are distinguished as the primary source of these toxic compounds, which are delivered to air, soil, and water, affecting on the social and economic advancement of society at a worldwide scale.
This review also demonstrated the microbial degradation of POPs and outlines the potential for an eco-accommodating and cost-effective approach for the biological remediation of POPs using microbes. The direction for future research in eliminating POPs from the environmental sources through various microbial processes was emphasized."