Nonpoint Source Pollution
What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
Nonpoint source pollution
is caused by various land use practices, air deposition, and many of our daily
activities. This pollution can close beaches, endanger wildlife, and
contaminate drinking water resources. Unlike specific point sources such
as discharge pipes, nonpoint source pollution comes from many different spots
and it's often difficult to control.
What Are the Pollutants?
pollutants include nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers
and septic tank systems, sediments from construction and timber harvest sites,
pesticides from agricultural lands, salts from winter road treatment, and trace
metals and toxic chemicals from inadequately protected landfills.
How Can Consumers Help?
Pollution prevention is
essential to reducing nonpoint source pollution. Examples of pollution
prevention include detention ponds for capturing sediments in stormwater
runoff, and buffer strips of vegetation to separate farmed or urban lands from
nearby waters. Citizens can reduce nonpoint source pollution if they:
- Reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizers, pesticides,
and herbicides on lawns and gardens,
- Seed or mulch areas where soil can wash away.
- Never dispose of used engine oils, paint/paint
thinners, and pesticides in sewers, septic tanks, storm drains or directly
onto land. Dispose of them at household hazardous waste disposal
- Take public transportation, ride in carpools, and limit
driving when possible to reduce air emissions. Properly maintain
cars to eliminate oil and gasoline leaks.