Water pollution is an issue that is plaguing the growing city of Raleigh, North Carolina. Water pollution is solid waste contaminating the rivers and lakes in North Carolina. Water pollution is caused by illegal dumping and sediment runoff. Humans can get diseases such as typhoid and cholera from contaminated water, and the chemicals affect fetal development. Aquatic animals are also affected by water pollution, causing 400 dead zones worldwide.
Raleigh’s rivers and streams, that we love and depend on are becoming increasingly polluted. Agricultural runoff, domestic waste, and corporate dumping are just some of the careless ways we are destroying our freshwater ecosystems. Currently there are 1,270 impaired waterways in North Carolina. In Wake County there are 160.6 miles of impaired waterways. Wake County is a large part of why North Carolina is ranked 11th in the United States for polluted/impaired waterways. Raleigh’s lack of legislation and monitoring on this topic must be remedied. This is important to all of us, because we depend on these bodies of water, and they provide a habitat and food for many of the Earth’s organisms.
Our goal is to pick up 10 bags worth of solid waste, trash and recycling separated, from a local river, lake, or stream. We will be doing our small part to help our community, and to ensure a better future for our world. Collectively our efforts, with the NC parks service will help to secure the natural life processes within the river ecosystem, and help to provide clean, trash and chemical free water for Raleigh.
Water Pollution in Raleigh, NC is a growing problem, that could worsen. Many streams, rivers, and lakes are becoming contaminated by solid waste which has drastically lowered the standard for all waterways in Raleigh. Water Pollution can affect things such as your everyday drinking and cleaning water, without the water from these waterways you would be without many necessities. Also without clean water comes higher cost to water purification or outbreaks of infectious and waterborne disease. According to “The World Counts” “Another problem caused by water pollution is the organisms that need these bodies depend on the ecosystems stability to survive. Organisms like fish, crabs, birds, and many other animals often wind up on beaches, killed by pollutants in their habitats. Not only does water pollution affect these animals it’s affecting their ecosystems and habitats.”
Water pollution has been a recognized major problem in North Carolina since 2014 when footage proving that Duke energy was pouring coal ash into the Neuse River. This caused great pollution in the water and made the public pay closer attention to water pollution in our city and state. Water pollution can affect our community in ways such as killing aquatic life, and giving humans diseases from contaminated water.
One of the reasons why water pollution in Raleigh is so bad and greatly affected is because of all the coal and other toxic chemical being dumped into the water by major companies needing a place to dispose of them. Not only is it toxic chemicals and coal polluting our rivers, careless littering around our community is easily picked up by runoff and brought to our waterways. Dropping this pollution in our water kills animals that are vital to keeping out serious diseases that when present can make you very sick. This issue is very serious and not only is it hurting the water and the organisms in it, it can lead to hurting us.
According to “The World Counts”, water pollution is caused by many factors, including uncontrolled construction sites, leaking sewer lines, stormwater runoff, accidental spills, leaks and more. Organizations in Raleigh are working to clean the rivers and lakes that have been affected by these things. Along with what we are doing, going to pick up the trash discarded in rivers, there are plenty of things that you can change about your everyday activities that will help with the issue of water pollution. Some things you can do without going to a river to clean up, is not using fertilizer, installing a rain barrel, recycling, not washing your car in your driveway, and fishing responsibly.
Some people believe pollution is an inescapable result for human activity, that people must put up with if they want to make progress, but not everyone agrees with this view. Ways we can keep our water clean is to not leave cans, paper, and glass near a body of water. We can also help the environment by getting some people and clean up local streams, lakes, and rivers, like we are going to.
Our service project is centered around helping our local community. There is no better way to in a single step help the whole of our city than doing this service project in connection with the local government. We plan to log our work and progress with the Raleigh Parks Department. We will be hosting our service cleanup at Laurel Hills public park, we have chosen this park because of its need for our services, and because of the endangered freshwater ecosystem on its grounds. Laurel Hills supports a pond and large stream leading into the head of the Neuse River. Solid waste collecting off the banks of this stream is directly related to the current waste runoff problem in the Neuse. We will be registering a volunteer program with the park and getting down in the dirt collecting solid waste.
First our volunteers will see a short powerpoint presentation on the value of their work and the safety precautions they must follow. Next our assigned task division will be split into groups of five or more and sent to different sections of the park. group leaders will be chosen, and given a safety vest to better organize their groups. They will also each be given a reinforced trash bag for gathering their groups waste. The group that has collected the most trash at the end of our trip will receive a prize. Our original planning board group members will each receive a distance trash picker for more dangerous waste.
Our service project is a more individualized effort to fulfill our part in caring for our environment. Our community is in need it is our responsibility as young citizens, and residents of North Carolina, to help satisfy that need. This initiative is representative of what we believe needs to be done more; gathering a small group and getting down in the mud, experiencing and improving our current state.
City of Raleigh, “Protecting Streams from Water Pollution.” City of Raleigh. August 22, 2016. March 16, 2017.
United States Geological Service, “USGS Current Water Data for NC.” Daily Streamflow Conditions. March 28, 2017. March 28, 2017.
Yadkin Riverkeeper, “50 Things You Can Do.” August 23, 2010. March 28, 2017.
World Counts, “How Does Water Pollution Affect Humans.” Is Your Water Clean? April 15, 2014.