Some main causes of water pollution, which is primarily excess nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, come from fertilizers that wash off urban lawns and agriculture sites.
Some larger pollution sources are also industrial farms either agriculture or livestock, factories, and urban and city construction. All of these areas pollute by washing excessive nutrients along with heavy metals like zinc and copper coupled with agriculture waste like manure down stream which eventually ends up in our waterways and aquifers.
In areas of mining, especially mining that involves sulfides (and that includes coal because sulfur is common with coal) such as much copper, lead, zinc mining, sulfur reacts with water to produce sulfuric acid. That is a major problem for many mining areas – moreso often than contamination by trace metals themselves. This can be a problem with both surface water and groundwater.
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