Non-point Source Pollution

Non-point sources of pollution are those that cannot be linked to a particular end-of-pipe source. Pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, heavy metals (zinc, copper), petroleum products, and litter (soda cans, bottles, and other trash) – are washed off roads, highways, parking lots, yards, and other paved and covered surfaces into streams during rain events. These are all considered non-point source pollution. In recent years, increased amounts of stormwater runoff are the main sources of this type pollution.

These various sources contribute to poor water quality in many different ways. For example, ammonia in fertilizers and other waste products can create nutrient-rich conditions causing algae blooms which can deplete oxygen levels in water and suffocate aquatic species. Huge amounts of trash and other litter that wash into creeks and South River are an eyesore as well as a danger to aquatic life and wildlife.

Varied and numerous, non-point sources of pollution are difficult to identify. Non-point sources generally increase as land is cleared and developed for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes. Incorrect disposal of trash and litter and illegal dumping of tires are two additional factors that contribute greatly to non-point pollution of South River. As more land is developed, which brings more people into an area, controlling non-point source pollution will be an increasingly important task. Also, better enforcement of state regulations regarding disposal of tires is needed to stem the tide of illegal tire dumping.

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PO Box 1341 | Decatur, Georgia 30031
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