Nonpoint Source Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) basically defines nonpoint Source pollution as any source of water pollution that does not meet the legal definition of “point source” in section 502(14) of the Clean Water Act: “The term point source means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, including but not limited to any pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation, or vessel or other floating craft, from which pollutants are or may be discharged. This term does not include agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.” Source EPA, Basic Information about Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution.

Stormwater runoff is considered a type of non-point source pollution. It is very difficult to track any pollutants back to a specific point-source. Rainfall will encounter multiple and diffused sources of contaminants.  A great example is when stormwater flows across a parking lot and picks up oil left by the cars on the pavement is considered a nonpoint source of pollution.  Many of us may not realize that this runoff eventually empties into a storm drain, then flows downstream into a lake, river, and eventually our ocean.

The EPA website states many types of nonpoint source pollution.  Construction, agricultural, highway runoff, mining, and marina activities to name a few are all contributors to nonpoint source water pollution.  Each one respectively can generate erosion and sediment, nutrients, harmful contaminants, and chemicals as key types of nonpoint source water pollution.

A particularly important nonpoint source of pollution is the sediment from stormwater runoff from construction sites.  Florida continues to report that nonpoint source pollution is a leading cause of water quality problems. Florida is a sub-tropical state.  During the Florida rainy season from May to September, it can experience as much as 50 plus inches of rainfall.  This rainfall can actually become damaging to our eco-system if not properly managed.  Stormwater that moves across disturbed permeable surfaces such as construction sites can create erosion and sedimentation that can flow into our local water bodies.

Construction activities creating avoidable sediment runoff has been determined one of leading nonpoint source pollutions affecting water quality today.  Sediment erosion has also been determined a major factor to drinking water contamination, weakening fisheries, and creating a higher risk of flooding.

KCI is committed to helping our clients achieve their environmental goals.  Call KCI today, and let’s work together to protect our precious ecosystem so Florida’s beautiful waters can remain healthy and alive for future generations. Call us today at 888-346-7779.

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