Every Day Activities Can Generate Non-Point-Source Pollution


NPS pollution arises from everyday human activities.  Here are a few homeowner good housekeeping practices that can make a big difference:

Excess lawn fertilizer can be washed off lawns and end up in lakes and streams.  The runoff of fertilizers from lawns into lakes, ponds and streams can encourage nuisance aquatic plants and causes algae to grow, which uses up oxygen that fish need to survive.

What you can do:  Test the soil to be sure that fertilizer is  needed.  If fertilizer is required, select an appropriate product.  Follow directions, and apply only the needed amounts.  Time the application properly - make sure that the weather forecast does not call for rain within 24 hours of applications.

Leaking oil from vehicles is deposited onto driveways and streets.  From there, it gets washed into storm drains and directly into our lakes, rivers and streams.

What you can do:  Maintain vehicles by replacing leaky gaskets.  Dispose of used oil properly, and clean up any spills.

Rain and Snow melt can wash Pet Waste and associated pathogens into storm drains, leading to pollution of our water bodies.  Pathogens that can cause health problems include bacteria, viruses and pathogenic protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

What you can do:  Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly in the trash.  Do not dispose of pet waste in storm drains or catch basins.

The three examples above demonstrate how homeowners can make a big difference in water quality.  A little attention to daily activities can help significantly to reduce the volume and quantity of NPS pollution.