Water pollution is a problem in Los Angeles. There must be a change. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Hilda L. Solis Learning Academy

Opinion: How to decrease water pollution

Out on the streets of Los Angeles, debris lingers and rain carries it off into lakes and rivers, turning the water a sickening shade of grey and brown.

As everyone surely knows, water pollution is a rather serious issue that can affect people in a number of ways, including people in both schools and homes. It is not just humans that are being affected; most living organisms can be affected as well. However, this isn’t anything new, which poses the question: Why does this continue to occur? 

Well, to start, there are a variety of different causes of water pollution, most of which involve humans, whether directly or indirectly. Some direct causes include littering at beaches or near lakes, according to the Los Angeles County Public Works department. Even if the littering isn’t that close to a body of water, if it’s not taken care of, rain can carry that trash into lakes and rivers through sewers.  

Most students don’t know much about the origins of water pollution in L.A. 

“I don’t know. I see a lot of people littering and stuff, so maybe that’s a reason why,” a student from a local school who requested to remain anonymous said. 

Of course, not everyone knows everything about water pollution — or are that interested in it — which, in itself, can play a role in why water sources are being polluted. Without many people caring about conserving our water sources, there won’t be as much action taken in order to help the situation. 

When brought into a school environment, this pollution will prompt students to not drink the water from the water fountains.

“I already didn’t drink the water from the water fountains just because the water doesn’t taste that good,” a student who chose to remain anonymous said. “But now I’m sure I won’t if the water’s all dirty.” 

Considering that no one wants to drink filthy, contaminated water, we need to do something about this water pollution problem. One thing we should be able to do is to throw our trash away in designated areas. Though it may not seem like much, removing litter from the streets can prevent it from being picked up and carried by the rain.

Needless to say, we can’t prevent every way that water gets contaminated — some of them are just not in our control — but if we simply throw our trash where it’s supposed to go, then that would be a decent start. 

I have compiled some ways we can decrease the amount of pollution in our water:

  1. Use less plastic. As most people know, plastic is difficult to break down and get rid of, especially when it ends up in water supplies. One way you can reduce plastic is to reuse the plastic you’re already using as many times as you can instead of throwing it away. 
  2. Throw away your trash into available bins instead of on the ground. If there are no trash cans nearby, just hold onto whatever your trash might be until you come across a bin. It’s a pretty simple thing to do, and if this is not done, rain can carry the trash off into water supplies and contaminate them.
  3. Don’t throw trash nearby or into bodies of water. Dumping your trash in lakes or rivers or the ocean causes more direct effects than to litter farther from such bodies of water. You shouldn’t be littering, but especially not near or in water supplies. And remember, you’re not the only one that can be affected by the consequences.