Water quality is not defined by chemistry alone. If natural waters are withdrawn for use they should be returned to the environment at approximately the same temperature. An increase or decrease in temperature can have an adverse effect upon plants, animals and chemical balances. Returning water to a stream at a different temperature than it was withdrawn is known as thermal pollution. For example, coal-fired power plants use water in the production of steam that turns turbines. That water is then cooled in the large cooling towers before it is returned to the environment.