water pollution

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In Deepest Part of Ocean, 'Sky High' Pollution

Toxic chemicals reach 6 miles deep in ocean: study

(Newser) - At the deepest spot in the ocean, scientists have found beer cans, plastic bags, a tin of Spam, and now tiny crustaceans contaminated with toxic chemicals banned nearly 50 years ago. The "extraordinary levels" of pollution in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean and the Kermadec Trench... More »

This Might Be World's First Polluted River

Researchers find riverbed with copper pollution from 7,000 years ago

(Newser) - It's no surprise that humans pollute their waterways, but now it appears we've been doing it a lot longer than thought. In a study published this month in Science of the Total Environment , researchers say they've found evidence of a polluted river from 7,000 years ago.... More »

Red River in Russia Is Freaking Everyone Out

Some are pointing the finger at pollution possibly caused by local nickel factory

(Newser) - Russian officials are looking into a phenomenon that's been documented by a flurry of pictures on social media: one of the country's northernmost rivers turning a bloodlike bright red. CNN reports that the Daldykan River shifted to a rouge hue on Tuesday, and while some are saying the... More »

Baltimore Streams Tainted by Amphetamines

Aquatic life threatened by drugs flushed down the toilet, scientists say

(Newser) - Are the nation’s streams tainted with hard drugs? If they're near urban areas, the answer is likely yes based on a new study that found amphetamine polluting water sources in Baltimore, CNN reports. Researchers who tested samples from six streams around the Maryland city found them tainted with... More »

Rio's Newest Problem: 'Super Bacteria' in the Water

And a nasty oil slick in Guanabara Bay, right where sailors are set to compete

(Newser) - Rio de Janeiro has been plagued by body parts on beaches , muggings , and Zika fears ahead of the Summer Olympics, and now a "super bacteria" has entered the mix. Brazilian scientists say the drug-resistant bacteria was found along the coast of popular beaches including Flamengo and Botafogo, both of... More »

Humans Have Polluted Deepest Part of the Oceans: Study

Crustaceans in Mariana, Kermadec trenches rife with chemicals

(Newser) - Survival of the fittest in the depths of the sea likely includes plenty of its own inherent challenges, but now it's got a man-made one to add to the list. A research team out of Scotland's University of Aberdeen has discovered high concentrations of human-created organic pollutants in... More »

Flint's New Water Nightmare: Legionnaires' Outbreak

Spike in disease could be tied to tainted water

(Newser) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a new development Wednesday in Flint's water crisis that "just adds to the disaster we are already facing": specifically, a marked increase in cases of Legionnaires' disease that could be linked to the area's tainted water, reports the Detroit Free Press . From... More »

In Flint Crisis, Cops Are Going Door-to-Door— Giving Out Water

And people want Michigan's governor held accountable, among others

(Newser) - In an effort to save money, a state-named emergency manager switched the water supply for Flint, Mich., from Lake Huron to the polluted Flint River, creating a crisis that's left the city's water supply looking "like urine" and caused the lead levels in area kids to spike... More »

Shipwrecks Are Pollution Threat to US Waters

As vessels sit underwater for decades, oil could start to leak out

(Newser) - An oil barge recently discovered at the bottom of Lake Erie—nearly 80 years after it sank—has brought a renewed focus to the environmental dangers posed by dozens of shipwrecks littering American waters, the Detroit Free Press reports. According to the AP , 87 shipwrecks are included on a federal... More »

There's Something Seriously Wrong With Our Seabirds

Seabirds that soared for 60M years crashed in just 60 years

(Newser) - There are nearly 350 species of seabirds roaming the planet, ranging from the wandering albatross (with the world's largest wingspan) and the child-size emperor penguin (the only bird to breed in Antarctic winters) to tiny storm petrels that dance on the water as they eat, reports the Guardian . But... More »

Think Septic Tanks Keep Poo Out of Our Water? Er, No

The largest watershed study of its kind to date looks for, and finds, lots of poop

(Newser) - In the largest watershed study of its kind, Michigan State University researchers have sampled 64 river systems in the state for E. coli and the human fecal bacteria B-theta and found that, in a nutshell, septic tanks aren't working. At least not as well as experts thought. The researchers... More »

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Hits 5 in Chesapeake

One woman spends a month recovering after getting infected during kayak trip

(Newser) - A Maryland woman is lucky after a "wee beastie" invaded a cut on her foot while she enjoyed the waters of the Patuxent River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. The aggressive, flesh-eating Vibrio vulnificus bacteria multiply in warm weather and can cause skin and blood infections and intestinal illness,... More »

Toxic Water Actually 'So Routine' in Ohio

Pollution, invasive species, and climate change have all been blamed

(Newser) - Tap water has been declared safe to drink and bathe in again in Toledo, Ohio, but scientists warn that toxic algae blooms could be here to stay. Fertilizer from farms and cattle feedlots are partly to blame for the thick layer of algae choking Lake Erie, the most developed of... More »

Company That Ruined Water for 300K People Fined $11K

Judge surprised few claims filed against W. Va. firm

(Newser) - A West Virginia company that leaked a chemical into the Elk River at the start of this year has been punished with an $11,000 fine—which amounts to about 27 cents for each of the 300,000 people left without water for days . The Occupational Safety and Health Administration... More »

10% of US Beaches Teeming With Bacteria

Stormwater runoff major culprit in unsafe beaches

(Newser) - They may look pristine, but one in 10 US beaches is ripe with enough bacteria to make you sick. New research shows 10% of coastal and lakefront beaches fail to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's water-safety standards and swimmers could develop a stomach bug, conjunctivitis, pink eye, or even... More »

Mountain of Coal Ash Spills Into NC River

But officials say drinking water is safe

(Newser) - Somewhere between 50,000 and 82,000 tons of coal ash have spilled into a river that flows between North Carolina and Virginia since Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports. But municipal officials as well as the owner of the retired coal plant involved, Duke Energy, insist the drinking water... More »

Whales Record Years of Pollution —in Their Earwax

10-inch tube shows when animal was exposed to chemicals

(Newser) - Learning the story of a blue whale's life is easy, if a little disgusting: It's all in the earwax. It forms a tube in the animal's long ear canal, "kind of like a candle that's been roughed up a bit," a researcher tells NPR... More »

Study: Fracking Didn't Mess With Drinking Water

DOE study indicated chemical-laced fluids stayed well below aquifers

(Newser) - If you live near a fracking site, go pour yourself a nice, clean glass of water, because the Department of Energy is pretty sure it's safe. In a landmark study, federal researchers tagged fracking fluids with special markers at a Pennsylvania drilling site before injecting those fluids into the... More »

The Filthiest Beaches in the US

New report card ranks cleanest, dirtiest in the nation

(Newser) - There's something dangerous lurking in the water at many US beaches, and it isn't a shark. It's bacteria, and it's fouling up many of America's shorelines thanks to runoff from treatment plants and old sewer lines, which can put swimmers at risk of hepatitis, dysentery,... More »

Ocean Floor Littered With Recyclables

Plastics, metals especially common

(Newser) - The ocean floor has a disturbing amount of trash on it—and a disturbing amount of it could have been recycled. Researchers from the California's Monterey Bay Aquarium have pored over a huge amount of video clips of trash discovered along the coast from Canada to California to Hawaii,... More »

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