Chemical and other contaminants
Contaminants may include organic and inorganic substances.
Organic water pollutants include:
Disinfection by-products found in chemically disinfected drinking water, such aschloroform
Food processing waste, which can include oxygen-demanding substances, fats and grease
Insecticides and herbicides, a huge range of organohalides and other chemical compounds
Petroleum hydrocarbons, including fuels (gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels, and fuel oil) and lubricants (motor oil), and fuel combustion byproducts, from stormwater runoff
Tree and bush debris from logging operations
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as industrial solvents, from improper storage.
Chlorinated solvents, which are dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), may fall to the bottom of reservoirs, since they don't mix well with water and are denser.
Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)
Various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products.
A garbage collection boom in an urban-area stream in Auckland, New Zealand.
Inorganic water pollutants include:
Acidity caused by industrial discharges (especially sulfur dioxide from power plants)
Ammonia from food processing waste
Chemical waste as industrial by-products
Fertilizers containing nutrients--nitrates and phosphates—which are found in stormwater runoff from agriculture, as well as commercial and residential use
Heavy metals from motor vehicles (via urban stormwater runoff) and acid mine drainage
Silt (sediment) in runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or land clearing sites.
Macroscopic Pollution in Parks Milwaukee, WI
Macroscopic pollution—large visible items polluting the water—may be termed "floatables" in an urban stormwater context, or marine debris when found on the open seas, and can include such items as