The causes of water pollution include industry, agriculture, animals and people. Pollutants in the air enter our streams and groundwater along with rainwater. Each cause is accompanied by different toxins.

Industrial pollutants include cancer-causing chemicals like benzene, an industrial solvent and plasticizer. Because of the chemical's many uses, it is practically everywhere.

Run-off from industrial farms carries pesticides and herbicides into our streams. In one study, the concentrations of weed killer and bug spray found in tap-water samples were much higher than that believed to be safe.

Animal feces carry bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Most are rendered harmless through public disinfecting methods, but parasites in an early stage of development known as oocyst are resistant to all known disinfection methods other than boiling.

Oocysts can be filtered out, but the filtering process can only be done at the point of use with a tap-water filter, for example. It can not be done at the public treatment facilities.

People are a source of all kinds of pollutants. They throw trash into the streams. They dump chemicals on the ground. The health and beauty aids that use end up in surface and groundwater.

Some of the causes of water pollution can be addressed through governmental regulations. For example, industry can be required to treat their wastewater before dumping it back into our streams, but not every cause can be addressed in that way. As long as there are people and animals, there will be pollutants in our freshwater, which means that what we drink could be toxic.

This is one of the reasons that bottled beverages have become increasingly popular. But there is no guarantee that bottled is safer. In fact, it may actually be worse, because of the chemicals used to make the plastic.

Regardless of the causes of water pollution, there are things we can do to protect ourselves, other than buying bottled beverages. Today's home water purifiers are effective enough to remove all of the toxins that industry and nature can throw at us.

When you are comparing water purifiers , learn about what steps the product includes to remove chemicals, oocysts and other contaminants. Reverse osmosis was at one time a popular alternative, but new technologies are just as effective or better and they are less expensive.

The causes of water pollution you have read about here are not the only things we have to be concerned with. They are just some examples of what the homeowner has to deal with.