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close this bookStudying Water Pollution through Fish Assessment (Indian Institute of Sciences)
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentAbstract
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentLakes and Bangalore City
View the documentLiterature review
View the documentMeans of Detecting Water Pollution
View the documentGeneral review of assessment procedures
View the documentRemote Sensing
View the documentMethods
View the documentResults and Discussion
View the documentReferences

Literature review

Water quality, habitat structure, flow regime, energy source and biotic interactions are the major environmental factors that determine water resource integrity [6]. The physical and chemical attributes of water are the critical components of a water resource. They include temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, hardness, turbidity, concentration of soluble and insoluble organic and inorganic, alkalinity, nutrients, heavy metals, and an array of toxic substances which may have simple chemical properties or their dynamics may be complex and changing, depending upon other constituents in the geological strata, soils, and land use in the region [7]. The human effects on biological processes can result in mortality or may shift balance among species as a result of subtle effects, such as reduced reproductive rates or changing competitive ability.

Both fresh and salt water also form the habitats for innumerable organisms, such as seaweed, shellfish, crabs and other marine life that are components of human nutrition. In Europe and North America, impaired health and reproductive disorders were observed in aquatic animals and animal species that derive their sustenance from the water [8]. The causes were discovered to be contaminants in the water, such as organochlorines, e.g., DDT and other insecticides, and organic heavy metal compounds, e.g. methylmercury, which had been assimilated by the animals via their skin and respiratory systems or through food chains with associated concentration (biomagnification). Methylmercury compounds are considerably more toxic than elementary mercury and its inorganic salts. Human exposure to methylmercury comes exclusively from consumption of fish and fish products and prenatal life is more susceptible to brain damage than adults [9]. Nonetheless, these discoveries represented only the beginning; a large number of other contaminants were subsequently diagnosed and their dispersal paths identified.

In addition to restrictions in the utilization of water bodies as sources of drinking water, or other uses, contamination of fresh water and marine water can also have a multitude of indirect deleterious effects on human beings such as disruption of community and traditional activity, economic and nutritional hardships. It is therefore of overriding importance to find and improve means of monitoring and evaluating water quality and pollution levels in order to remedy and/or prevent harm to human beings and their environment.