The Water Cycle

The effects of pollutants in the water cycle

Introduction

Pollutants can enter the water cycle from the air when it rains. When sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide mix with moisture in the air, it creates acid rain. Pollutants that are released into the atmosphere stay there and move with the winds. Rain falls and pushes these pollutants from the air to the ground. These pollutants then enter the soil or run off into other waterways (lakes, rivers, oceans) where they continue to pollute and cause damage. Acid rain is damaging top all living things as well as buildings and statues. Water pollution can have hugely damaging effects on the earth's food chains. Pollution threatens the water cycle, it also affects water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. Pollutants can fill water ways with diseases which not only affects the health of all living things but also makes water unsuitable to drink, unusable for recreational purposes, unusable for farming and agriculture, and unsuitable for industries.

What is acid rain

Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions low PH. It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure. Nitrogen oxides can also be produced naturally by lightening strikes and sulfur dioxide is produced by volcanic eruptions. The chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and erosion of stone statues.

How to prevent acid rain