We all understand how important clean lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater are. Yet, our habits are knowingly or unknowingly impacting water quality and its wildlife. Annually, the plastic debris we dump in water kills about 100,000 marine mammals. Although a massive issue, there are still simple ways to reduce water pollution, and this blog aims to discuss those ways.

Ways to Reduce Water Pollution

When harmful substances like microorganisms or chemicals contaminate water bodies, it results in pollution. This not only degrades the quality of the water but also makes it toxic for humans and the environment. Let us try some of these easy solutions to water pollution.

1. Reduce Plastic Usage

reuse of plastic: bowls_ tips to reduce water pollution

Apart from being a major environmental issue, plastic pollution is also a branch cause of water contamination. Based on climatic factors, plastic takes about 20 to 500 years to decompose. After breaking into smaller pieces, it becomes microplastic, which is found everywhere on Earth. 

Microplastics affect humans adversely. They may harm our reproductive system, growth, and immune system, and also cause oxidative stress. Our lack of widespread water filtration adds to its potential health risks.

You can cut down on plastic by 

  • Not buying bottled water and using a home water filter instead.
  • Avoiding plastic containers and choosing stainless steel or glass. 
  • Avoiding excessive use of plastic food packaging.

Also See: How to Recycle Plastic Bottles at Home: 10 Easy Methods

2. Avoid Pouring Stuff Down Your Sink or Toilet

You should try to avoid draining medicines, cleaning chemicals, or oils into water supplies as they’ll be difficult to remove from water bodies. You should instead dispose of them in leak-free and sealed containers in the trash. If unsure, you can go through the Drain Discharge Guide from the National Institute of Health.

It is not advised to mix toxic chemicals before disposal as it may cause toxic reactions. Dumping oil into water supplies can also lead to clogged pipes needing costly repairs and water wastage. For hazardous waste disposal, follow local guidelines.

3. Turn Off Water When Not in Use

To cut down water wastage at home, use less water. Wasted water goes through the sewer lines and thus requires treatment. Fuels and chemicals are then used during the treatment to remove water contaminants. If you use less water, the need for these will decrease. It will not only benefit the environment but also the resources.

Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or shaving, instill the habit of turning off the water between tasks. This will save water and reduce your monthly usage at home.

4. Prevent Limescale Buildup in Your Home

Inside your household water pipes, hard water can cause limescale build-up. This can make your appliances less efficient and use more water. To tackle this issue, you need to use a water conditioner or softener. Additionally, you need to treat your home’s plumbing to get rid of any existing limescale. This will help reduce your water wastage and thus in turn related pollution.

5. Use Your Dishwasher Wisely

You should wait until your dishwasher is full to run it. This keeps water wastage controlled. Moreover, compared to handwashing, dishwashers are more water-efficient. So, choose them over the handwash method.

6. Upgrade to a Water-Efficient Toilet

composting toilet odor control: solution of water pollution

It is important to make the switch from an old to a modern toilet. These days, toilets are designed to use less water while flushing but without compromising the performance.

Also, check out the Most Water-Efficient and Sustainable Toilets

7. Collect and Use Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting systems redirect rain from your roof into a barrel for storage until needed. These barrels stop water from flooding the soil under gutters, preventing soil erosion over time. This prevents runoff which is a major source of groundwater pollution.

Rainwater harvested can be used for watering plants or washing cars. It would be much better as this water is free from chemicals and bacteria. It will not affect the plant growth and is not hard on your car either.

8. Install Smart Leak Detection System

Leaks are the culprits behind severe water damage to your home. You can use a smart leak detection system to prevent leaks. It notifies you as soon as it detects one. This is one of the most important tips to reduce water pollution from its wastage.

9. Create Dry Well or Rain Garden

prevention of water pollution

Both of them are designed to avert runoff into the soil. Dry wells are holes in the ground where water gets collected and absorbed. They come with pipes on the surface to let water in. On the other hand, a rain garden is a also depression in the ground but is filled with plants. Similar to dry wells, it soaks up rainwater and provides a space for water to be absorbed.

10. Use Mulch to Protect Topsoil

This is another way to prevent groundwater pollution. It’s easier for the thin and loose topsoil to be washed away by regular rain. Mulching assists in absorbing rainwater and helps keep the soil in place.

11. Reduce the Use of Pesticides and Herbicides

Although these chemicals are effective for their designated purposes, their toxins can be a major reason behind water pollution. They are commonly used in farming, lawns, and gardens. They can wash off plants through rain and then seep into the groundwater, contaminating it. Treating these chemicals in rainwater is an energy-intensive and challenging task.

You can save all this hassle by using substitute products like natural pesticides, diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and organic weed killers.

12. Clean Up After Your Pets

While it may appear that pet waste doesn’t affect water supplies, it does. In fact, it can harm the water bodies where fish live and other animals drink from. This not only harms the ecosystem but also impacts the environment beyond the water. 

You can prevent all this by scooping up your pet’s waste, putting it in a biodegradable bag or container, and disposing of it in the trash. Simple right?

13. Reuse and Recycle Items

If it’s possible on your end, try to reuse items, especially non-recyclables like plastic. This not only reduces your consumption but also the probability of such products ending up in oceans, rivers, and lakes. 

Additionally, when faced with a choice, choose easily recyclable options like getting glass bottles instead of plastic ones. This will create a more environmentally friendly impact.

14. Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

eco friendly toilet and bathroom cleaner 1

We need to improve our shopping patterns by choosing non-toxic and biodegradable cleaners. Research shows that cleaners with phosphates can cause algae blooms and lower oxygen levels in the water. This has the potential to harm and even kill fish and other aquatic animals.

We should also use eco-friendly products like soaps, detergents, and dishwashing liquids. While they might cost a bit more, using them is a great way to help the environment. These products won’t further go into water sources and pollute them.

15. Use Detergents and Bleaches Wisely

You can’t use washing machines and dishwashers without bleaches and detergents. But when you use these chemicals, use them wisely. Follow the instructions well and don’t use more bleach than required. For example, if the instructions advise only half a cup, don’t put two cups.

16. Conserve Soil

When chemicals get into the soil, they can spread through the water. This happens because falling rain carries the topsoil. It’s a normal process, but the ground will undergo serious damage if the soil is exposed to excess phosphates or harmful substances. To stop soil’s movement, you should create banks right in front of waterways.

17. Keep Vehicle Maintained

If you own any mechanical device like a car or a truck, you need to make sure that it gets regular maintenance. Without regular servicing, your motor vehicles can develop leaks. This can lead to water contamination as well as runoff into streams and creeks.

With regular maintenance, your vehicle operates efficiently and doesn’t contribute to environmental pollution. It’s important to note that air pollution also eventually affects our water supply.

18. Avoid Oil Spill

When you work on your car or other machines, certain waste can accumulate that can be harmful to the environment. Transmission fluid and oil are among the top examples of substances you do not want to see in your sewers or drains.

Cross-reference: Tips for Preventing Small-Vessel Oil Spills

19. Properly Manage Drains and Tanks

Septic tank: ways to reduce water pollution

If you have a cellar drain or septic tank, you need to make sure that it doesn’t directly drain into your sewerage system. If it does, it can lead to significant problems, pollution being one of them.

To learn how to properly manage a cellar drain or septic tank, you can contact your local water authority.

Also Read: 15 Most Common Water Wastage Causes and their Effects

20. Reduce or Prevent Littering

Whenever you are near a river, lake, or ocean, don’t throw any trash near or into them. This act is also applicable to beaches. Suppose you toss a wrapper on the beach, the tide can carry it into the water supply, in turn polluting it. Building such responsible habits is monumental in the prevention of water pollution.

21. Plant Fauna by Lakes or Rivers

If you live near a river or lake, you can try planting local plants by the water. Trees are great too. Apart from creating a beautiful sight, these natural elements prevent erosion that carries pollution into the water body. They safeguard the nearby water supply from contaminants. The fauna also helps maintain a balanced pH level by reducing carbon dioxide in the water.

22. Keep the Environment Clean

We need to keep our surroundings clean which in turn will keep the water bodies clean as well. Mostly when we see someone littering around water bodies, we ignore them instead of politely asking them to not do so. We need to step up and take up ways to reduce water pollution on an individual or a group level.

Even if we do not prefer telling them directly, we as responsible nature warriors should pick up the waste and throw it away in bins.

23. Prevent Chemical Pollution

Chemical pollution

If you see or hear about someone disposing of chemicals in a water body, reach out to your local water authorities. Share whatever you know or observe. Urge them to take appropriate action. Be vocal as remaining silent only allows the problem to worsen.

Cross-Reference: Chemicals That Can Contaminate Tap Water

24. Make Wise Food Choices

The food we choose has a consequential impact on the environment, considering the chemicals used in farming, running farm equipment on industrial farms, and fuel consumption for crop transportation. Typically, organic foods are grown with fewer synthetic chemicals. So, choosing them is a smart move to minimize chemical pollution in water

25. Choose Sustainable Meats

While you enjoy a hamburger occasionally, it is essential to think about the impact their factory farms have on our water supply. These farms produce huge amounts of waste, which eventually ends up harming the nearby water supplies. Whenever it’s possible for you, buy and choose sustainable meats over those produced at factory farms.

Animals raised for meat require a lot of water for their food, grains, and overall survival. Due to them, a significant amount of solid waste and antibiotics enter our rivers and groundwater.

Also, take a look at Sustainable Food Brands.

26. Support Water Conservation

You can consider joining an organization or donating a few times a year to positively impact those who are working to ensure the safety of our water supply. If it is a challenge to donate, you can volunteer to clean up local rivers, and beaches. You can also assist in collecting discarded chemicals from residents. Often, environmental groups welcome volunteer labor for such efforts.

By implementing all these practical and easy ways discussed above, we can fight water pollution. We just need to conserve water, do proper waste disposal, and support eco-friendly practices. Each individual’s effort, no matter how big or small matters.


Olivia is committed to green energy and works to help ensure our planet's long-term habitability. She takes part in environmental conservation by recycling and avoiding single-use plastic.

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