Comprising over 70% of the Earth’s surface, water is undoubtedly the most precious natural resource that exists on our planet.
We all need clean water. People need it to grow crops and to operate factories, and for drinking and recreation. Fish and wildlife depend on it to survive.
Many different pollutants can harm our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. The three most common are soil, nutrients and bacteria. Rains wash soil into streams and rivers. The soil can kill tiny animals and fish eggs. Nutrients, often from fertilizers, cause problems in lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Nitrogen and phosphorus make algae grow and can turn water green. Bacteria can pollute fresh or salt water.
1. Give the Russian equivalents to the following words:
context, chemical, physical, biological, class, agent, bacteria, virus, parasitic, category, inorganic, nitrate, phosphate, plastics, pesticide, finally, radioactive, genetic, sort, locations, tankers, detected, laboratory, analyze, defects
2. Guess the meaning of the underlined words. Translate the sentences.
1) Water covers over 70% of the Earth's surface and is a very important resource for people and the environment. 2) In developed countries, sewage often causes problems when people flush chemical and pharmaceutical substances down the toilet. 3) Asbestos is a serious health hazard and carcinogenic water pollutant. 4) When acid rain pollutes marine habitats such as rivers and lakes, aquatic life is harmed. 5) Aluminium takes 200 years to degrade in water. 6) In a water treatment plant, sewage goes through a number of chambers and chemical processes to reduce the amount and toxicity of the waste.
3. Translate the following word combinations:
to account for the deaths; disease-causing agents; sewage systems; untreated waste; oxygen-demanding wastes; oxygen-requiring bacteria; water-soluble inorganic pollutants; unfit to drink; excessive growth of algae; the water's oxygen supply; water-soluble radioactive compounds; birth defects; underground mines; small samples of water; computer models; different contaminants; detection of water pollution; specific properties of these organisms
4. Match the word from list A with its definition in list B.
underground channel to carry off sewage and rainwater to centers for treatment
change from one form into another
that can be dissolved
waste organic matter
too much; extreme
follow or discover by observing marks, tracks, bits of evidence
5. Place the appropriate word from the list in each of the blanks below:
point sources, plastic, discharge, sanitation, contaminants, heavy metal, sewage, excessive
Every year, 14 billions pounds of …, sludge, and garbage are dumped into the world's oceans.
About 42% of the world's population live in families with no proper means of …
Some water … are carcinogenic.
… of pollution occur when the polluting substance is emitted directly into the waterway.
… amounts of sediment in waterways can block sunlight, preventing aquatic plants from photosynthesizing.
Another example of point source pollution is a … from a smoke stack (factory chimney).
The best known example of … pollution in the oceans took place in 1938 when a Japanese factory discharged a significant amount of mercury metal into Minamata Bay.
A … bottle can survive an estimated 450 years in the ocean.
Reading for Speaking and Discussing
Read the text and put the question to each part:
Where does water pollution come from?
What is water pollution?
How do we detect water pollution?
What are the major water pollutants?
Water pollution is a major problem in the global context. It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily.
1. Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has a harmful effect on any living thing that drinks or uses it or lives in it. When humans drink polluted water it often has serious effects on their health.
2. There are several classes of water pollutants. The first are disease-causing agents. These are bacteria, viruses, and parasitic worms that enter sewage systems and untreated waste.
The second category of water pollutants is oxygen-demanding wastes; wastes that can be decomposed by oxygen-requiring bacteria. When large populations of decomposing bacteria are converting these wastes it can deplete oxygen levels in the water. This causes other organisms in the water, such as fish, to die.
The third class of water pollutants is water-soluble inorganic pollutants, such as acids, salts and toxic metals. Large quantities of these compounds will make water unfit to drink and will cause the death of aquatic life.
Another class of water pollutants is nutrients; they are water-soluble nitrates and phosphates that cause excessive growth of algae and other water plants, which deplete the water's oxygen supply. This kills fish and, when found in drinking water, can kill young children.
Water can also be polluted by a number of organic compounds such as oil, plastics and pesticides, which are harmful to humans and all plants and animals in the water.
Finally, water-soluble radioactive compounds can cause cancer, birth defects and genetic damage and are thus very dangerous water pollutants.
3. Water pollution is usually caused by human activities. Different human sources add to the pollution of water. There are two sorts of sources, point and non-point sources. Point sources discharge pollutants at specific locations through pipelines or sewers into the surface water. Non-point sources are sources that cannot be traced to a single site of discharge.
Examples of point sources are: factories, sewage treatment plants, underground mines, oil wells, oil tankers and agriculture.
Examples of non-point sources are: acid deposition from the air, traffic, pollutants that are spread through rivers and pollutants that enter the water through groundwater.
Non-point pollution is hard to control because the perpetrators cannot be traced.
4. Water pollution is detected in laboratories, where small samples of water are analyzed for different contaminants. Living organisms such as fish can also be used for the detection of water pollution. Changes in their behaviour or growth show us, that the water they live in is polluted. Specific properties of these organisms can give information on the sort of pollution in their environment. Laboratories also use computer models to determine what dangers there can be in certain waters.
1. Grammar Revision. Find in the text and translate the complex sentences with: Attributive Subordinate Clause
2. Answer the questions.
What is water pollution?
What are the major water pollutants?
What are the sources of water pollution?
What are the examples of point pollution?
What are the examples of non-point pollution?
Why is non-point pollution hard to control?
How can water pollution be detected?
3. Ask your partner some more questions on the text. 4. Substitute the words in bold type for their synonyms:
changing, agents, a harmful, proposed, undrinkable, contaminants, qualities, issue, reduces
Water pollution is a major problem in the global context.
It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases.
Water pollution is any chemical, physical or biological change in the quality of water that has an adverse effect on any living thing.