What are Nonpoint Source Pollution and Best Management Practices?

durty river

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution? Nonpoint source pollution is generated from land runoff resulting from precipitation. As the runoff moves over the land surface, it picks up and carries away natural and manmadepollutants and deposits them into waterways, wetlands and ground water. Human activity can dramatically increase nonpoint source pollution potential.

Why is nonpoint source pollution important to us? Abundant clean water is important to all citizens. Excessive runoff can increase sedimentation to streams. Increased sedimentation raises filtering costs for drinking water, increases flood potential by filling up streambeds, and chokes irrigation systems. Fish habitats can be altered by improper management activities. Removing shade from critical riparian or streamside areas can increase water temperatures, thus affecting fish and other aquatic life. The entire food chain in and near streams can be affected and damaged by land management activity. BMPs can reduce their impact.

Best Management Practices – What are they and why are they important? BMPs are practices chosen to reduce erosion and prevent or control pollution . BMPs have been in existence for many years in most industries. Forestry BMPs are directed primarily to control erosion. BMPs are proven methods to lessen the potential damage from land-disturbing activities.

There are many products that can help to prevent this type of pollution especially in urban areas. Storm drain filter inserts are becoming more popular. Many cities now reguire this type of product on shopping center parking lots and on drains around manufactoring and warehouse facilities. They are very cost effective. They can filter our trash, dirt and oil. Replacement requirement varies depending upon the amount of rainfall as well as the maintenance done on the area. Regular power sweeping or hand sweeping will greatly reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the drain filters when it rains. 

Creative Commons License photo credit: pereiraalexandre20

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