3 Point Source Of Water Pollution Examples (And Why You Should Care)

Are you aware of the major water pollution problem that faces our world today?

Would you like to learn a little bit more about this pollution and what causes it?

What are some point source of water pollution examples and what does this mean?

In this article, we’ll help you gain a better and more thorough understanding of point source pollution, what this means and how the problem can be improved. If you’ve ever wanted to learn a little more or get involved in working to repair the environment, it’s a good idea to thoroughly grasp the situation before you get started.

And if you work for a company that you think could improve its practices with relation to water pollution, there’s no reason why you can’t speak up and say something about it when you understand the problem, too. This is just one of the many reasons why educating yourself about the bigger problems of water pollution is a very important step to take.

So read on to learn more about source point pollution and what this may mean to you.

Point Source Water Pollution Examples

Point source water pollution is, simple put, the source from which a pollutant comes. This may be a pipe that is pumping wastewater into the ocean or it could be a shipwreck that’s causing an oil spill. In day-to-day life, there are several very common sources of water pollution, which we are going to discuss below. Understanding which sources are the most likely culprits of water pollution in and around your area can provide you with a great place to get started making a difference yourself. Here are a few examples:

point source pollution

1. Waste from Industries and Factories

This is one of the most common sources of water pollution around the world. Factories that are positioned on or near water sources are not shy about dumping their waste into those water sources, even if that water is used for the city surrounding them. Even factories that aren’t close to major water supplies still tend to dump their chemicals and wastewater in unsafe ways that cause pollutants to seep into the groundwater and reach water supplies anyway. Although there are regulations in place to stop this, they are not that heavily enforced, and factories usually only get a slap on the wrist for not following them.

  • Another similar source of this type of pollution is power plants—specifically of the nuclear variety. Nuclear power causes a significant amount of radioactive waste to be produced, and most of these power plants simply dump that waste unsafely or even deposit it right into the water nearby. Because of this, people who live in these areas are more prone to developing cancer as well as other illnesses, and plant and animal life suffers too. Nuclear power plants need to be held to even higher safety regulations than regular industries.
point source pollution examples

2. Sewers

Cities and counties manage sewage systems for their residents. However, many of these locations don’t keep up with their sewers very well, and these sewers quickly develop leaks or damage that go without repair for years. As the damage gets worse, waste seeps from the sewage lines into the surrounding groundwater and contaminates it with viruses, parasites, and bacteria. This may also happen in communities where septic systems are more prevalent. If homeowners are not careful about keeping up with inspections and repairs on their septic systems, the same type of leaking and damage can occur, leading to further water contamination.

3. Waste and Runoff from Agriculture

agricultural nonpoint source pollution

Agriculture is the leading cause of water pollution in this country. Large-scale farms do not monitor or manage waste form their animals, so it seeps into the ground and pollutes the groundwater in much the same way that damaged sewage systems do. And these farms are notorious for using pesticides and other chemicals that wash into the groundwater or into nearby water sources and pollute those as well. Agriculture runoff is responsible for many of the toxic algal blooms and dead zones in the ocean as well as in freshwater sources, and it’s also responsible for contaminating the water supplies of cities around the country.


Did you learn something new today? If you are just getting started learning about source point pollution or about water pollution in general, you’re not alone; many people don’t really understand this problem, but taking time to learn about it is a great step toward improving the problem on a global scale.

Whether you are involved with one of the source points of water pollution yourself or you are just interested in getting more in tune with your activist side, you should also be aware of the changes that can be made to prevent or reduce this type of pollution. Here are some ways these sources can make a difference:

point source pollution definition
  • Families in residential areas that rely on a septic system should be encouraged—or even required—to have their septic tanks pumped and inspected every few years to ensure no sewage and waste is leaking into the surrounding groundwater. Cities and counties that handle this for residents need to stay on top of these inspections and resolve problems immediately when they occur as well.
  • Factories and companies need to be encouraged or required to dispose of wastewater and chemical waste in safe and environmentally-friendly ways. This includes regular inspects and fines for violations when they occur. These factories and corporations need to be held responsible when they do something to damage the environment and are not following existing guidelines.
  • Farms need to start working to manage the waste their animals produce so that this waste doesn’t further pollute the groundwater. These farms also need to work to conserve soil and nutrients as well as land used for grazing. Finally, they absolutely must be regulated when it comes to the disposal of chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, and medication or hormones used in the raising and production of their animals.

There are many more changes that need to be made in the country and around the world before we can see water pollution related to these major source points really changing. However, it’s never too late to get started trying. As long as there are people on a smaller scale willing to work to improve the conditions of our water sources around the world, bigger companies and factory farms are going to catch up eventually. This is why it’s so important to get involved in activism if this is a problem that’s important to you, and why you need to start making changes in and around your own home right away, too.