Types of Water Pollution: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Water and Pollutants
  • 0:56 How Pollution Works
  • 1:54 Pesticides and Sewage
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kelly Beaty

Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.

Clean water is necessary for life. When water gets polluted, it becomes unhealthy for all living creatures. In this lesson, learn about the different ways that water gets polluted.

Water and Pollutants

Look at this picture of the earth.


Notice all of the blue areas. These areas give us an idea of how much water covers the earth. Almost ¾, or 75%, of the earth is made up of water. That's a lot of water! In the picture here, the water looks clean and blue. Sadly, this is not always the way water looks in real life. Sometimes things make water too dirty to safely drink or too dirty for animals to live in. These things that make the earth dirty are called pollutants.

We see water in oceans, ponds, lakes, streams, and many other places on the surface of the earth. Some water is found underground, and sometimes water falls from the sky as rain, ice, or snow. All of these water sources can get polluted. Humans and animals cannot live without clean water. It's important to know about different types of water pollution so that we can keep our water clean and safe.

How Pollution Works

There are many things that make rivers, lakes, oceans, and other water sources dirty. Let's take a look at some common pollutants that can make water unsafe.

Solid trash in the water is ugly, but it's also unhealthy. Birds, fish, and other creatures that live around water can get hurt by the things we throw away. Waste from humans and animals pollutes water and makes it unsafe for drinking. Cleaning supplies, medicine, paint, and other chemicals can be toxic, or poisonous, to living creatures. When these things get into our water, it becomes polluted.

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