Thermal Pollution

Causes, Effects, and Solutions

What is Thermal Pollution?

It is the degradation of water quality by any process that changes ambient water temperature


  • Water that is used as a coolant in factories being returned to the natural habitat at a different temperature. (Warmer water)
  • Urban runoff--storm water discharged to surface waters from roads and parking lots. (Warmer water)
  • The release of cold water from the base of reservoirs into warmer rivers (Colder water)
  • Removal of trees along the shore line increases solar incidence


  • Sudden and peroiodic increase in temperature producing a thermal effect
  • Changed dissolved oxygen
  • Distribution of organisms among major and minor communities.
  • Death of steno hermic animals
  • Changes to reproductive powers and increased susceptibility to disease.
  • changes in migration time and pattern may be affected.
  • Decrease in productivity of the water body.


  • Construction of cooling ponds --artificial water bodies for cooling due to radiation, convection and radiation.
  • Construction of cooling towers for radiation.
  • Use cogeneration where the heat is recycled.
  • Replant trees