There are many ways to categorize pollution, one of those ways is dependent on the source of pollution, or how the pollution enters the system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines point source pollution as “any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, ship or factory smokestack” (Hill, 1997). "Nonpoint source pollution generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage or hydrologic modification. Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, 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 human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. (EPA)"
Nonpoint pollution is the nation’s number 1 water quality issue. Pollutants like soil, lawn chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers), salt, and petroleum products from driveways, parking lots and roads are rinsed off the earth’s surface by rain or melting snow.
Storm water runoff that does not soak into the ground rushes to local streams and lakes causing damage to habitat with pollution, erosion and water that has been warmed by running over pavement.
Different watershed Assembly's in Muskegon County have acted with the DEQ's Michigan Nonpoint Source Program, funded by the Clean Michigan Initiative Clean Water Fund Grant. Click the pictures in the carousel below to read through the different best management plans, and learn how to limit or stop nonpoint pollution.