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Many human activities can adversely affect the quality of our rivers, lakes, seas and groundwater.
Water quality is influenced by direct inputs, such as from a factory or sewage treatment plant, so-called “point source pollution”. It is also influenced by pollution from widespread sources, such as nutrients and pesticides from farming activities and pollutants released by industry into the air which then fall back to land and sea, so-called “diffuse pollution”. The main point source of pollution to water is from sewage and waste water treatment, while for diffuse pollution, main sources are from farming and fossil fuel power plants (via the air). Note that while sewage treatment plants are identified as a “point source”, they are not the actual source as they treat what we put down our toilets and sinks.
Find out more by browsing through our content on Water.