Are you trying to learn a little more about water pollution?
Are you interested in finding out what types of pollution may be affecting the area where you live?
Do you deal with nonpoint source pollution in your community?
What is an example of nonpoint source water pollution?
In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of everything you need to know about how to recognize a nonpoint source of water pollution. You’ll be able to determine which of these, if any, affect the part of the world where you live, and you’ll be able to pinpoint potential problem areas that may soon become a source of pollution in your community as well.
A nonpoint source of water pollution is something that is caused by another source. For example, a factory dumping chemical waste into a water source is a point source of pollution. When that water runs downstream and contaminates a different city’s water supply, it becomes a nonpoint source of pollution instead. This can be a little complicated to keep track of, but remember that there are a lot more nonpoint sources of pollution than point sources out there.
Most areas are affected by at least one type of nonpoint water pollution source. Even if you live far away from a city and you feel like the water where you are should be clean and healthy, chances are good you’re dealing with a type of pollutant you had no idea about—and it could be a very serious and dangerous one, too.
This is why it’s very important to make sure you understand as much as you can about point and nonpoint sources of pollution both. Below, we’ll give you several examples to make it easier for you to recognize this type of pollution when it happens in your area. Read on to learn more.
In order to know how you can make a difference in your community, you need to know just what types of water pollution face your specific area. To do this, you should familiarize yourself with the different types of nonpoint source pollution that may be affecting you. Here are some examples of nonpoint source water pollution to help you better understand what this means. Remember that these are not the only types out there, however, and that you may need to pay more attention to notice the more hidden problem areas out there. The more you educate yourself, the more aware you’ll become of potential issues in and around the place where you live.
Agriculture is responsible for a huge percentage of water pollution, and this is no exception. Runoff from agricultural sites pollutes groundwater as well as surface water sources and contributes to contamination of all sorts of water supplies.
As wind picks up scattered debris from cities, landfills, and that cup you threw out the window driving down the Interstate, it often eventually deposits these pieces of trash in water supplies. From there, the trash leaches out chemicals and bacterial contaminants that get into the water supply and can risk making people very sick.
When rain falls on an area where there are a lot of contaminants—like a landfill—it causes stormwater runoff that reaches the groundwater in that area in record time. It carries chemical and bacterial contaminants from the point source to the groundwater and creates a nonpoint source of water pollution. From there, it travels to surface water, where it evaporates and becomes rain once again—but this time, the rain itself is polluted. This is sometimes how acid rain is formed.
When snow melts in areas where pollutants are common, it functions like rainfall and picks up pollutants it comes into contact with, carrying them onward to water sources and groundwater both.
Erosion causes sediment pollution to reach surface water sources quickly. When shorelines erode and sediments that weren’t meant to get into the water reach it, that water will become polluted very quickly.
If your car is leaking oil, never park it in a place where it’s going to leak into the soil. This type of leakage quickly reaches groundwater, and it is carried to surface water in and around your area. This is one of the many reasons why cities and residential communities contribute to pollution so badly. This goes double for construction sites where leaking machines are rarely taken care of.
If your septic system is damaged, it’s leaking human waste into the surrounding groundwater. That may sound disgusting, but it’s one of the many common nonpoint source causes of bacterial pollution in residential community water supplies.
When you allow cleaning supplies to wash into the ground in your yard, you’re contributing to groundwater contamination. This happens very frequently in residential neighborhoods and has become a nonpoint source of pollution.
Last but not least, mining drainage that is stored but never disposed of properly is a nonpoint source of pollution. When that drainage is purposefully dumped into a water supply, it becomes a point source instead; when it sits unattended and contaminates groundwater, it is nonpoint.
Do you feel like you’ve learned a little bit about nonpoint source pollution? Do you feel prepared to go out there and tackle this problem in some way, or do you still have questions? Why should we be worried about nonpoint source pollution? How does this type of pollution affect us?
In short, this is the type of pollution many people think of when they think of water pollution. Point source pollution—which is the opposite of nonpoint source pollution—may be less noticeable overall than the examples listed above, particularly because point sources of pollution are often kept out of sight and out of mind. However, nonpoint source pollution is probably what is responsible for contaminants and pollutants in your own water supply and in the water your city uses, too.
This type of pollution can cause drinking water sources to become contaminated with heavy metals that can make animals and humans both very sick. It’s also responsible for nitrate contamination in water sources, which leads to animal death and habitat loss in the wild. And it may bring chemical pollutants and bacteria into the drinking water that everyone in your city shares, too.
All in all, nonpoint source pollution is largely responsible for the pollution you see every day. Keep this in mind when you move forward in your plans to fight back against the causes of pollution in and around your own community, and you’ll already be well on your way to formulating a plan that will make a difference.