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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 44% of assessed stream miles, 64% of lakes and 30% of bay and estuarine areas are not clean enough for fishing and swimming.The EPA also states that the United State's most common contaminants are bacteria, mercury, phosphorus and nitrogen.According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 80% of pollution in marine environment comes from the land through sources like runoff.
According to the University of Georgia, it is estimated that around half of the water withdrawn from water systems in the United States each year is used for cooling electric power plants.
"In nearly all cases, 90% of this water is returned to its source, where it can raise the water temperature in an area immediately surrounding the water discharge pipe.
For example, sewage causes pathogens to grow, while organic and inorganic compounds in water can change the composition of the precious resource.
According to the EPA, low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water are also considered a pollutant.
This makes the water hold less oxygen, which can kill fish and wildlife.
The sudden change of temperature in the body of water can also kill fish.
Worldwide, nearly 2 billion people drink contaminated water that could be harmful to their health.
Land can become polluted by household garbage and by industrial waste. A little over half of the waste — 136 million tons— was gathered in landfills. Organic material was the largest component of the garbage generated, the EPA said.
Dissolved is caused by the decomposition of organic materials, such as sewage introduced into the water. The artificial warming of water is called thermal pollution.
It can happen when a factory or power plant that is using water to cool its operations ends up discharging hot water.