Rio Pinheiros: sewage pollution and industrial waste
Types of water pollution and main pollutants
- Pollution of organic materials that are discharged into rivers, lakes and seas through irregular sewage systems.
- Eutrophication: presence of large amounts of algae in river and lake waters. It occurs when there is an increase in organic matter from waste (industrial, agricultural and domestic) thrown into the water.
- Pollution by disease-causing organisms (pathogens) - Presence of bacteria, worms and protozoa in waters. This is due to the disposal of contaminated sewage in the waters.
- Pollution by non-biodegradable waste - This type of pollution is caused by non-organic waste. They are usually detergents, chemicals and petroleum released into the waters of rivers, lakes and oceans.
- Heavy Metal Pollution - This type of pollution usually occurs in mining or mining areas. In Brazil, recently, two accidents occurred in Minas Gerais (Mariana and Brumadinho) with rupture of ore tailings dams. The rivers in the region were contaminated by heavy metals that had been used in the mining process. In irregular mines, mercury contamination of river waters is common.
- Pollution by microplastics - is currently one of the main pollutants of ocean waters. Bags, straws, packaging and other plastic objects are thrown into the oceans. Over time, water and sunlight (heat) will break the plastic into very small particles. These plastic particles stay in the ocean waters, contaminating them.