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Urban nonpoint source pollution

Nonpoint source pollution, or polluted runoff, has many sources, including urban areas. Because most urban areas include such impervious surfaces as roads, building roofs and parking lots, rainfall and other precipitation have a more difficult time soaking into the ground. This causes more water to run off into local storm drains, streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Anything else on these impervious surfaces will run off as well. Construction sites may have soil and sediment run off into streams and lakes. Lawn fertilizers may enter the storm drain and dump directly into the local water. Gasoline or road salt will run off into the ditches and water. Even leaves and grass clippings can cause nutrient problems in area lakes and streams.

There are many ways to address these issues, at both the government and individual levels, including permits, regulations and best management practices, as well as rain gardens, rain barrels and housekeeping practices.

Learn more about urban nonpoint source pollution: