THE FUNDAMENTALS

WATER POLLUTION

Fundamentally, water pollution is the accumulation of one or more substances in a body of water to such a degree that it causes problems for people and/or animals.  Here is the United Nations' definition: 

"The introduction by man, directly or indirectly, of substances or energy into the marine environment (including estuaries) resulting in such deleterious effects as harm to living resources, hazards to human health, hindrance to marine activities, including fishing, impairment of quality for use of sea water and reduction of amenities."

 

2 BASIC TYPES

Water resources such as oceans, rivers, lakes, streams.

SURFACE WATERS
SURFACE WATERS

Water stored in underground aquifers.

GROUND WATER
GROUND WATER

ESSENTIAL ISSUES FOR GEORGIA RESIDENTS

SURFACE WATERS

63%

In 2017, DeKalb County Georgia saw a 63% increase in sewage spills which were estimated to reach bodies of water.

MORE THAN A TRILLION

Georgia's coastal waters contain more than a trillion small particles and fibers made of plastic. The heaviest concentrations are found in the waters around Savannah.

75%

75% of all beach trash collected on Tybee Island is smoking related material: butts, packaging, lighters.

96%

96% of the top ten littered items collected on Tybee Island are made of plastic.

60 MILLION GALLONS

According to the 2017 Dirty Dozen Report, Rayonier Advanced Materials pulp mill in Jesup dumps 60 million gallons of discharge a day into the Altamaha River.

307,400 POUNDS

According to the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup 2017 Report, in 2016, 17,095 volunteers in Georgia collected over 74,353 items of beach trash totaling 307,400 pounds.

10,132,268 POUNDS

In 2012, Industrial facilities dumped 10,132,268 pounds of toxic chemicals in Georgia's waterways.

3RD IN THE NATION

Also in 2012, the Savannah River was 3rd in the nation for the highest amount of total toxic discharges.

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GROUNDWATER

30 GEORGIA TOWNS

In 2017, ten dangerous contaminants were found in the water supplies of 30 Georgia Towns or water supplies.

SIX CONTAMINANTS

Also in 2017, six contaminants, such as arsenic and uranium, were found in amounts above the legal limits.

FIFTH-MOST VIOLATIONS

In May of 2017, the National Resource Defense Council determined that based on population, Georgia had the fifth-most violations in the country of the Safe Drinking Act.

- NRDC-

3.8 MILLION PEOPLE

The NRDC reported 1,870 violations of the Safe Drinking Act in 906 different water systems serving more than 3.8 million people.

- NRDC-

DIRTY DOZEN REPORT

The 2017 Dirty Dozen Report, issued by the Georgia Water Coalition, warned about the possibility of ground water contamination from the disposal of coal ash in the Waste Management's Superior landfill near Savannah.

ARSENIC, BERYLLIUM, SELENIUM

In 2016, Georgia Power Company reported the chemical contaminantes arsenic, beryllium, and selenium in groundwater at three of its coal-fired power plants (including Plant McIntosh near Savannah). The contaminantes were at levels higher than the legal limits.

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