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What about non-point source pollution?

We often hear about oil spills and toxic waste fields polluting the environment. Although very concerning, we can at least pinpoint the source of these pollutants. However, this is not the case with non-point source pollution.

Non-point source (NPS) pollution This happens when rain or snowmelt carries pollutants into waterways or underground and from diffuse sources. As runoff moves, it collects pollutants in its path. Water is a great way to clean clothes or dishes because it suspends unwanted particles and carries them away. Unfortunately, water does the same to pollutants, polluting lakes, rivers, oceans and groundwater.

NPS contamination is also a significant threat, according to University of Missouri researchers safe drinking water. Although clean water method It has succeeded in reducing significant pollution at the source, but it has done little to curb NPS pollution.

“High levels of nitrates and nitrites, such as those found in fertilizers, can lead to negative health effects, such as blue baby syndrome,” Robin Rotman says, Assistant Professor at MU School of Natural Resources. “Non-point source pollution can lead to toxic algal blooms; pesticides and herbicides also contain carcinogens that can threaten human health.”

Because preventing NPS pollution is critical to improving water quality and protecting wildlife, addressing this issue is critical. Let’s examine common sources so we can identify opportunities to mitigate them.

Lawn, Garden and Agricultural Chemicals

Fertilizers often enter waterways, promoting microbial growth and causing drastic drops in dissolved oxygen levels. Without enough oxygen, fish and other aquatic species suffocate. Likewise, pesticides can flush into waterways, making the water unfit for human consumption and unsafe for wildlife.


To prevent pesticides from entering waterways, use regeneration and organic gardening Technology in your yard.learn about Non-toxic pest control method or at least make use of Integrated Pest Management, use only pesticides when absolutely necessary. Look for natural fertilizers and soil conditioners like compost and seaweed. Also, if possible, eat organic foods to discourage the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers on the farm.

household chemicals

Some households discharge chemicals such as paint, waste oil, antifreeze, drain cleaners, ammonia, bleach, upholstery cleaners, pool chemicals and other household chemicals into storm drains. This practice contaminates water supplies, as stormwater pipes often lead untreated directly to lakes, rivers and wetlands. Additionally, deicing salts can flush into waterways, harming plants and aquatic life.

Likewise, washing your car at home does the same thing, as all cleaning products, dirt, and oils often end up in the stormwater system without adequate treatment. Again, this wreaks havoc on the ecosystem and leads to the accumulation of toxins.


If possible, avoid buying harmful household chemicals altogether.If necessary, purchase the necessary minimum quantities and properly dispose of chemicals by household hazardous waste (HHW) collection sites, not storm drains.If your community does not have a project or place HHW Collection, to encourage local governments to activate them. Remember that storm drains run directly into waterways, so we should only use them for rain and snowmelt.

Avoid washing your car in the driveway or on the street.Instead, look for Eco-friendly car wash Capture and treat water to protect the environment.find them by looking water saver specified.

litter and pet waste

Street waste often finds its way into storm drains and into rivers, lakes and oceans; tons of plastic waste finally into our oceans Per year.Unmanaged pet waste Also flushes into our waterways; it may contain phosphorus, nitrogen, fecal coliforms and parasites. Even washing synthetic fabrics can cause microplastics to enter waterways through drain water.

Garbage stuck in storm drain


Make sure to dispose of waste properly and support your local waste removal program. Encourage others, especially children, to follow suit by educating them about the harmful effects of plastic and waste on our environment.If possible, wash synthetic materials Use short-cycle cold water, and consider buying Microfiber Balls for Laundry, which helps prevent microplastics in waterways.

storm surge

Impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, roads, compacted gravel, buildings, and other construction surfaces, often lead to influx of rainwater, which can lead to more polluted runoff. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prevent all non-point source pollution from cars, neighbors, construction sites, etc., but you can reduce runoff from your property.


Try to avoid impervious surfaces on your property; they encourage runoff by preventing water from seeping into the ground. For example, reduce the length and width of driveways and parking lots where feasible.Or instead of paving in your garden, use Porous Pavers, which allows some water filter into soil under. Encourage similar action in your community, possibly through local government or workplaces.

Keep in mind that roofs also generate runoff, but some measures can also reduce runoff.For example, plants green roof, Use a rain barrel, or planting rain garden to help prevent runoff, thermal pollution in waterways, and storm surges.

Taking all these actions seems overwhelming. Address the most impactful and easiest solutions first, then adopt more over time. Our collective efforts shape water quality for people and all lives that depend on a safe water supply.

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