What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
Most people think of a rusty pipe spewing sewage when pollution is mentioned, but there are many unseen sources as well. For example, every time it rains or snows, pollutants are added to Long Island Sound. As the rain forms and falls, it picks up pollutants from the atmosphere during its journey to the Earth and deposits them on the surface, a process catted atmospheric deposition. After reaching the ground, excess rainwater which is not absorbed washes soil and contaminants from the land into streams, lakes, rivers, and storm drains on the way to its final destination – Long Island Sound. This process is called storm-water runoff. Atmospheric deposition and stormwater runoff are two processes contributing to nonpoint source pollution, a term used to describe pollution that originates over a very large area and flows to the Sound. Other examples include contaminated groundwater, failing septic systems, and marinas and recreational boats.
To view the full nonpoint source pollution fact sheet, download the pdf document