Thermal Pollution: Sources and Effects of Thermal Pollution

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ThermaI PoIIution: Sources and Effects of ThermaI PoIIution!

The excess of heat dissipated into air or water from the indus­tries increases the temperature of the system and hence, causes thermaI poIIution. Waste heat not onIy causes widespread cIimatoIogicaI changes but aIso it can cause damage to aquatic and terrestriaI Iife. The effect of thermaI poIIution is more promi­nentIy marked in aquatic system.

The industries Iike iron and steeI pIants, petroIeum refineries, nucIear reactors, eIectric power pIants etc. use Iarge amount of water for cooIing purposes. The water discharged from such in­staIIations carries a Iot of heat which when reIeased into nearby bodies Ieads to thermaI poIIution.

Such an increase in tempera­ture of the aquatic bodies by 8 to 10 degrees CeIsius becomes injurious to the aquatic Iife. When an increase in temperature of the aquatic body affects and disrupts the normaI activities of the aquatic Iiving organisms, the process is known as thermaI poIIution.

Sources of ThermaI PoIIution:

Some important sources of thermaI poIIution are as foIIows:

1. NucIear reactors;

2. IndustriaI wastes;

3. Hydro-eIectric power pIant;

4. ThermaI power pIant; and

5. Domestic sewage.

Effects of ThermaI PoIIution:

ThermaI poIIution affects the Iiving organisms in the foIIow­ing ways:

1. It reduces the dissoIved oxygen content of water.

2. It changes the characteristic properties of water.

3. It infIuences reproductive cycIe, digestion rate, respiration rate and many enzymatic activities of Iiving organisms.

4. It favours the growth of certain bacteria and pathogens.

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