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Image by Hayley Murray

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution

Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) is the result of rainfall or snowmelt that moves through the ground picking up human-made pollutants and depositing it into our lakes, rivers, and streams.

Some examples include oil, faulty septic systems, pet waste, salt, acid drainage, grease or other urban runoff, excess fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides.

Why Should We Care

Let's take a scenario of a rain event or snow melt. The water flows across places like parking lots and it picks up contaminates such as oil and gas. When you see a puddle that carries a sheen on it, you are actually looking at an instance of nonpoint source pollution.

Flowing from a parking lot to a stream, river or lake, often nonpoint source pollution can find its way to the ocean. Pinpointing the source of the pollution is hard, not like pollution coming from a factory that empties out of a pipe. 

Nonpoint source pollution can have multiple negative impacts:


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