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Term Water pollution

The introduction of pollutants into an aquatic ecosystem which change its physical, chemical, biological and bacteriological characteristics, and impede some or all the activities for which  it could be employed in its natural state. The main water pollutants are:

  • Disease-causing agents
  • Oxygen-demanding wastes
  • Soluble inorganic chemical compounds
  • Inorganic nutrients
  • Sediments or suspended matter

Water pollution sources can be point source (focalized) or non-point source (dispersed). The first are those that discharge pollutants into the aquatic environment at a given point through pipes, ditches or drains. The second are those which contaminate by rain or soil erosion.  

The environmental norm on water quality and discharge control (NA-AG-001-03) aims to “protect, conserve, and improve the quality of the nation’s bodies of water, ensuring the safety of their use and promoting the upkeep of appropriate conditions for the development of the ecosystems associated with them.”  In the same norm are included the quality standards for natural bodies of water, along with the maximum allowable discharges into natural bodies of water. These include the levels for:

  • Municipal wastewater into surface and subsoil waters.
  • Municipal wastewater into coastal waters.
  • Industrial wastewater into drainage systems. 
  • Industrial wastewater into surface and subsoil waters.

Additional Information
PhotoWater pollution
Topic  BiodiversityEnvironmental managementEnvironmental educationProtected areasResources coastal / marineSoil and water