What Is Nonpoint Source Pollution

non point source pollution

This can be a result of biological pollution or geochemical pollution. In some cases, geochemical pollution can be caused by the interaction of land and water. In other cases, the sources may be too diffuse for any method of pinpointing or regulating their concentrations.

The two major categories of nonpoint pollution are air pollution and water pollution. Both can have potentially severe consequences on the environment. However, point source pollution refers to pollution that results from sources that are located outside the reach of surface-based systems.

Air Pollution

A pile of dirt

Air pollution can be described as a source of pollution that originates from the existence of pollutant particles in the atmosphere. These particles can be chemical, biological or even nuclear. Although most of the air pollution that occurs comes from chemical pollutants, a small number of particles are produced from the interaction of land and water.

These end up in the atmosphere and eventually become a source of nonpoint pollution. Examples of these include agricultural and industrial wastes, factory emissions, and sewage.

Water Pollution

Clouds in the sky at sunset

Water pollution, on the other hand, can be defined as any sort of pollution that results from the use of water as a source of energy, support or other purposes. It can also be a result of overuse of a resource. This includes natural disasters such as floods and drought as well as human activities like drilling for oil and other minerals. Coastal regions are also known to be more polluted than inland areas due to the occurrence of natural barriers that cause pollution to be absorbed differently.

Both air and water pollution can be affected by various types of technology used today. One example of this is nuclear energy. Although nuclear power has been heavily criticized for its harmful effects on the environment, it has been proposed as a way of producing energy without polluting the environment. There have also been discussions on how to dispose of waste from nuclear plants that are no longer needed or safe enough to be handled by conventional means.

Pollution Caused By Waste

Pollution caused by waste, however, is a very different story. As waste is created and transported to facilities, the emissions it releases are usually considered to be sources of pollution. Sources of pollution are categorized as being air pollution, water pollution and land pollution. Based on how these sources of pollution are categorized, their effect on the environment can then be assessed.

Nonpoint sources of pollution are considered to be a growing concern. These sources of pollution are not only deemed to be detrimental to the environment, but they are also leading to rising costs of production. For this reason, environmental advocates and scientists have been urging the development of more efficient and cleaner technologies. They have been calling for greater research and development in the area of waste and pollution, and have called for greater transparency in the industry.


In response to the calls for cleaner technology and for a more responsible source of energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been busy regulating various aspects of industrial pollution, including nonpoint sources of pollution. Among these regulations are those pertaining to the emission standards for different types of vehicles and production processes. It is important to note that these regulations were first established as guidelines, and have not been legally defined as regulations themselves. Hence, it is important to ensure that your business is compliant with all applicable regulations; otherwise you may be held liable for any legal action taken against your company.

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