In recent years, “point sources” of water pollution like sewer outfalls and/or industrial wastes from factories have been greatly reduced. Now, the number one water pollution problem comes from “non-point sources,” things like abandoned mine drainage, cars leaking oil, fertilizers washing off fields, lawns and gardens, and failing septic tanks.
Non-point source pollution is often the direct result of our daily activities. Therefore, each and every one of us can help to reduce the amount of pollution entering our waterways.
Non-point source pollution degrades our waterways and therefore reduces tourism, recreation, property values, community pride, and potable water.
The government is helping to reduce the amount of non-point source pollution by enforcing regulations regarding erosion and sediment pollution controls, supporting local watershed efforts and offering grant money as a financial incentive for the installation of best management practices (structural or non-structural items/practices installed to help prevent or reduce the amount of non-point source pollution entering waterways). Best management practices can include things like riparian buffers, streambank fencing, grassed waterways, etc.
Citizens and communities can help to reduce non-point source pollution by organizing and supporting local watershed groups, educating others to increase awareness, assessing local watersheds and developing watershed management plans, partnering to complete restoration projects, being proactive and encouraging the wise use of resources.
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