Nonpoint Source Pollution

Unlike specific points of pollution, such as some factory discharge pipes, nonpoint source pollution comes from many different spots. From farmlands to suburban lawns, people use the land in ways that cause nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is more difficult to control than point source pollution.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Include:


  • Excess farm and lawn nutrients that move throughout the soil into the groundwater or enter local waters directly through runoff during heavy rains
  • Uncontrolled storm water runoff from construction sites
  • Forestry operations
  • Animal waste
  • Pollutants released directly into the atmosphere
Nonpoint source pollution closes beaches, kills wildlife, poisons drinking water resources, destroys fish and shellfish habitat, and causes dangerous algal blooms. In most cases, this pollution comes from various land use practices, air pollutants, sewer overflows, and some ordinary activities of everyday life.