Thermal Pollution: Sources and Effects of Thermal Pollution!
The excess of heat dissipated into air or water from the industries increases the temperature of the system and hence, causes thermal pollution. Waste heat not only causes widespread climatological changes but also it can cause damage to aquatic and terrestrial life. The effect of thermal pollution is more prominently marked in aquatic system.
The industries like iron and steel plants, petroleum refineries, nuclear reactors, electric power plants etc. use large amount of water for cooling purposes. The water discharged from such installations carries a lot of heat which when released into nearby bodies leads to thermal pollution.
Such an increase in temperature of the aquatic bodies by 8 to 10 degrees Celsius becomes injurious to the aquatic life. When an increase in temperature of the aquatic body affects and disrupts the normal activities of the aquatic living organisms, the process is known as thermal pollution.
Sources of Thermal Pollution:
Some important sources of thermal pollution are as follows:
1. Nuclear reactors;
2. Industrial wastes;
3. Hydro-electric power plant;
4. Thermal power plant; and
5. Domestic sewage.
Effects of Thermal Pollution:
Thermal pollution affects the living organisms in the following ways:
1. It reduces the dissolved oxygen content of water.
2. It changes the characteristic properties of water.
3. It influences reproductive cycle, digestion rate, respiration rate and many enzymatic activities of living organisms.
4. It favours the growth of certain bacteria and pathogens.