Nonpoint Source Pollution and How To Control and Prevent It
There are two basic types of water pollution: point source and nonpoint source.
Point source pollution comes from single sources (e.g., a pipe from a factory dumping waste into a river).
Nonpoint source pollution is more difficult to trace and control. However, it is the leading cause of water quality problems, affecting ecosystems, recreation, and drinking water supplies.
What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
Nonpoint source pollution comes from many small, diffuse sources entering the water through runoff from rainfall or snowmelt. This pollution source includes bacteria from pet feces and leaking septic tanks, home and garden chemicals (e.g., fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides), automotive chemicals (e.g., oil, gas, antifreeze), and sediment from erosion.
The Effects of Nonpoint Source Pollution
The effects of nonpoint source pollution are numerous. For example, high levels of bacteria in water can sicken swimmers and lead to swimming area closures.
Excess fertilizer in water creates algal blooms, which can lead to oxygen depletion and the death of aquatic organisms.
Other chemicals from runoff can kill aquatic plants and animals. In addition, if bacteria and chemicals enter drinking water supplies, they may have adverse effects on human health.
Steps to Control and Prevent
Fortunately, there are steps individuals can take to minimize the amount of pollution they produce:
- Put nothing in storm drains except water. The runoff which goes down a storm drain eventually goes to water bodies without filtration or treatment.
- Check for automotive leaks and adequately dispose of automotive fluids. Used oil can be recycled and should never be discarded. In addition, many communities offer hazardous waste collection for other automotive chemicals.
- Reduce the use of fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides. Excess amounts will pollute runoff during rainstorms.
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash. Pet waste is a significant cause of bacterial water pollution.
- Plant a rain garden. Rain gardens are designed to capture and filter runoff while providing an attractive landscaping feature. Plant roots and soil absorb pollutants rather than entering rivers and lakes. Rain gardens remove up to 95% of heavy metals and 49-87% of fertilizers from runoff.By following these simple steps, individuals can help reduce the harmful effects of nonpoint source pollution.
Can We Help You With Your Pollution Problems?
All American Environmental is a full-service environmental consulting and contracting company. We service both central and north New Jersey. If you need oil tank services such as removal, installation, cleaning, sweeps, leak repair, soil and groundwater testing and assessments, and vacuum truck services, we can help you.
Feel free to browse our environmental blogs if any interest you. We list a few below.
All American Environments services Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Hunterdon County, Morris County, Ocean County, Hudson County, Essex County, Passaic County, Warren County, Bergen County, Union County, Somerset County and Sussex County, New Jersey