What is nonpoint source (NPS) pollution?
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is caused by rainfall or melted snow. This water runoff picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants and deposits them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and even our underground sources of drinking water. These pollutants can include: fertilizers, oil, grease, and toxic chemicals, and bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems. (Source: EPA) We know that these pollutants have harmful effects on drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife.
What you can do
- Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves, and debris out of street gutters and storm drains--these outlets drain directly to lake, streams, rivers, and wetlands.
- Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions.
- Properly dispose of used oil, antifreeze, paints, and other household chemicals properly, not in storm sewers or drains. One way is to bring them to Household Chemical Waste collection events.
- Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local streams and lakes.
- Purchase household detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorous to reduce the amount of nutrients discharged into our lakes, streams and coastal waters.