Environmental pollution is the process of contaminating physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of natural air, land, and water resources. It is important for professional environmental engineers to understand the concept of environmental pollution.
Causes of Environmental Pollution
It is public responsibility to care for and to sustain a healthy environment. An imbalanced environment creates numerous problems. The most common environmental problems generally include air or water pollution, soil erosion due to storm water runoff, depletion of natural resources, land fillings, and deforestation.
Visualizing Environmental Problems
Environmental problems are visualized in terms of intensity and growth of pollution, industrialization, and unplanned urbanization. Migration of populations to urban areas has also led to air, water, and noise pollution. Our PE Environmental exam review course recaps various sections of environmental engineering principles and practices to prevent pollution or contamination.
Classification of Pollutants
Pollutants are classified into two types:
· Biodegradable: breaks down by the activity of bacteria and enters biogeochemical cycles. Some examples of such pollutants include domestic household waste, sewage, and agricultural waste.
· Non-biodegradable: does not break down into simple and harmless products by bacteria. Examples include industrial chemicals, pesticides, metals (mercury, lead, arsenic), plastics, and radioactive substances.
Environmental Pollution Control Measures
· Flammable strong wastes must be burned in incinerators because strong waste is being changed into vaporous waste. Without an incinerator, the air would become contaminated.
· Strong natural wastes, including fecal matter, must be changed over into fertilizer. The composting should be done in pits or in stacks of soil no less than 8-10 cm thick to prevent fly reproduction and rodent threats.
· Materials that are not combustible, including cinder and glass pieces, should be discarded via landfills in low-lying ranges.
· Extreme and undesirable destruction of vegetation must be halted. Wipes and fabric towels should be used in place of paper towels.
Topics related to environmental pollution control measures and methods are extensively covered on the PE Environmental exam. It is important for all engineers registered for the PE Exam to review environmental pollution concepts prior to the exam.