Organic water pollutants include:
• Detergents
• Disinfection by-products found in chemically disinfected drinking water, such as chloroform
• 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 combustionbyproducts, 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 may fall to the bottom of reservoirs, since they don't mix well with water and are denser.
• Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)
• Trichloroethylene
• Perchlorate
• Various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products
• Drug pollution involving pharmaceutical drugs and their metabolites
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—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:
• Trash or garbage (e.g. paper, plastic, or food waste) discarded by people on the ground, along with accidental or intentional dumping of rubbish, that are washed by rainfall into storm drains and eventually discharged into surface waters
• Nurdles, small ubiquitous waterborne plastic pellets
• Shipwrecks, large derelict ships.