Nonpoint Source Management Program:
What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
In general terms, nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is any source of pollution that enters the environment through some means other than a discrete conveyance, such as a pipe from a sewage treatment plant. Nonpoint source pollution is diffuse in character. The main form of nonpoint source pollution is the polluted runoff that drains into our streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries. Runoff occurs when rainwater or snowmelt or irrigation water doesn't soak into the ground but rather runs off the land or developed surfaces into a body of water. As runoff flows over surfaces, including our streets, parking lots, yards, construction sites, farms, and forests, it picks up the things in its path including fertilizers, loose soil (sediment), animal waste, leaking motor oil, chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, oil, grease, metals, pathogens (bacteria and viruses) and trash. This runoff - then drains either directly to a water body or to a storm drain that flows to a waterbody - and carries with it the pollutants it has picked up.
Slide Presentation on NPS Pollution This presentation describes DWQ's water quality programs, the nature of nonpoint source water pollution, and water quality conditions in North Carolina.