• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Nonpoint Sources of Pollution

  • By: Philippe Maillard
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

A nonpoint source (NPS) of pollution is defined as any water pollution coming from a diffused source. Whereas point pollution sources such as wastewa-ter from sewage or industries are discharged on a single location, NPSs can spread over a very large area where rain, irrigation, or snowmelt can carry pollutants and discharge them in streams, lakes, reservoirs, or coastal waters. These pollutants can be carried either over the ground through surface runoff or below the ground surface through seepage. Depending on their type, these pollutants can be carried over large distances and have a drastic effect on water quality.

Common NPSs

There can be many different kinds of NPSs, but the most significant are crop and grazing agriculture practices that use large amounts of insecticides and fertilizers. ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles