Natural transformation in water gives rise to the integration, stable uptake and functional expression of extracellular DNA in the water body. In a body of water, numerous kinds of transformation could occur. These transformations could either be physical, biological or chemical transformation. It is significant to include chemical and biological treatments when considering the treatment of water. The water characteristics are usually diverse and toxic substances and biodegradable microorganisms could be present in the water body. These substances, unlike solid pollutants, cannot be easily seen with the naked eye. Most chemical, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries create very large amounts of chemically infested wastewater in their production and water disposal processes. This chemically polluted water is channeled into the environment and ends up becoming harmful to the general public, aquatic lives, and the environment. Compared to chemical transformation in natural waters, biological transformation is mostly produced by human activities, such as illegal refuse dumps, faeces, washing of biological wastewater into the environment and illegal use of the oceans, lakes, and rivers. Biological water treatments are very important for the disintegration of suspended organic substances, colloidal and soluble substance and also for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from the body of water. Choosing between chemical water treatment and biological water treatment largely depends on the water characteristics, available water treatment plant, and the requirements for the water discharge.
The characteristics of chemical transformation in natural water include; high content of organic materials of which some basic solvents components such as glucose and alcohol can be easily extracted from the water body. There are also persistent and toxic substances. Due to the diversity of generated chemical pollutants in wastewater produced by chemical facilities, a chemical test is usually required to effectively carry out treatment on the water.
Biological transformation in natural water is characterized by the presence of microorganisms such as viruses, pathogens, fungi, and bacteria. Where there are persistent and toxic substances in the biological transformation of natural water, biological treatments will require various steps and a lower rate of loading to effectively treat and remove the contaminants present in the body of water.
CHEMICAL TRANSFORMATION IN NATURAL WATER: chemical transformation is the wide range of organic and physical-chemical reactions that are not involved with the transformation at the atomic level. The chemical periodic table entails all the information and parameters as regards chemical transformation. A practical example of chemical transformation in water is the dissolution of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in water (H₂O) represented by an equilibrium equation.
Where H⁺ is the hydrogen ion and HCO₃⁻+ is the bicarbonate. The reactants are the components on the left-hand side of the equation. The product refers to the term on the right-hand side of the equation. While the formation at which the product is formulated at the same rate with which the reverse process of the reactants is with the product is the equilibrium.
BIOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION IN NATURAL WATER: The sub-set of chemical reaction in water that is created through a process of photosynthesis or respiration is called biological transformation. This reaction consists of the taking in of the nutritional substances in biomass products and interconnected with an input or output of energy. An example with a basic photosynthesis equation shows the production of glucose (C₆H₁₂O₆) from carbon dioxide (CO₂) through the radiation gotten from sunlight.
Mostly in the form of degradation, respiration and photosynthesis are of particular interest to biological transformation in natural water because they affect the oxygen concentration which is a very essential need for most aquatic habitats.
IDENTIFICATION OF SOURCES OF WATER POLLUTION
The primary sources of water pollution are human activities. However, natural occurrences like earthquakes, erosion, and flood can also constitute the degradation of water quality. The various sources of water pollution are;
1. WASTEWATER AND SEWAGE: The inappropriate collections of wastewater or sewage from industrial and domestic facilities are sources of water contamination. Research shows that an estimated 80% of sewage water used worldwide returns back to the environment without being treated.
2. POLLUTION RESULTING FROM URBANIZATION AND DEFORESTATION: Deforestation and urbanization indirectly pollute the water in the sense that, the regular cutting down of trees and land encroachment creates an accelerated flow of water and reduces the amount of time for the water to infiltrate and be purified by the ground.
3. AGRICULTURE: Agricultural activities such as irregular dispose of an animal dunk, uncontrolled application of fertilizers and manure, and ploughing of land can lead to water pollution. Accidental spilling of animal excretion and bye products like milk from dairy animals can also cause water pollution.
4. INDUSTRIES: Waste produced from production and manufacturing industries contains a lot of chemical deposition which can be very harmful to aquatic habitats. Large amounts of industrial waste are channeled to the canals, oceans, and rivers. Also, the burning of fossil fuels can lead to acid rain which flows into the streams, lakes, and rivers. The major reasons for water pollution caused by industries are; oil spillage during distribution, disposal of oil waste to water drainages and chemical loss from storage facilities like warehouses.
5. MARINE DUMPING: Most of the solid wastes in the water body are realized by the deliberate disposal of these wastes into the sea. Unwanted garbage such as plastics, bottles, paper, nylon and all sort of rubbish are being washed into the ocean and coastal waters in a large amount on yearly bases, these items now require weeks or in some cases years to decompose. Marine dumping is illegal and highly prohibited in almost all countries.
6. RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES: Another major source of water pollution is via radioactive wastes. Radioactive substances are generated among other wastes by uranium mining, nuclear power plants, industrial, medical and all types of scientific-related industries. These substances are used in the manufacturing of luminous clocks, wristwatches, x-ray machines, and television sets. They could also occur naturally in the form of radioisotopes from organisms in the environment. When these radioactive substances are accidentally discharged into the water or inappropriately disposed of, they could pollute the surface and groundwater respectively.