Nonpoint Source Pollution & Stormwater Runoff

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is defined as pollution that comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and man-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. If we all do our individual parts in reducing nonpoint source pollution, together we can greatly improve the conditions of our lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

10 Ways to Prevent Nonpoint Source Pollution

  • Use fertilizers sparingly
  • Regularly inspect and pump your septic system
  • Never dump anything into a storm drain
  • Replant disturbed soil as soon as possible
  • Regularly maintain your automobile to prevent fluid leaks
  • Dispose of hazardous waste properly
  • Direct roof drains away from bare surfaces and bare soil
  • If you must wash your car at home, wash it on the lawn to encourage infiltration and use low phosphate detergents in small amounts
  • Pick up after your pets
  • Clean up spills of vehicle fluids and household chemicals promptly and properly

Helpful Resources

For more information on pollution prevention, go to EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) website.