Ecology And Environment

Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Policy Analysis



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Nonpoint source (NPS) water pollution can be reduced by raising public awareness - could be said, but that method never really helps with anything. Rather than being intrusive or disruptive to people's lives and habits, it's just easily overlooked. After all, NPS pollution happens as a result of necessary processes just as easily as originating from careless or ignored ones. It doesn't matter who people are, we probably all play a part without knowing we are.

Whether the source is an oil drip from a car, insecticide, fertilizers, sand, salt, acid, or anything else, these are all forms of NPS pollutions that collect in waters of all kinds. It doesn't matter if it originates in a runoff, stream, underground water table, or lake, these bodies all are plagued with NPS pollution and there isn't a lot that can be done about it. The fact is that water will be tainted by just being near human lives, no matter how careful they may be. However, though this process can't be stopped outright, there's no reason people can't help where they can.

The solution for lessening the effects goes back to the first statement, only this time it doesn't have to come across as a bold campaign, but a simple suggestion. If it were to come across as a restriction or regulation it would meet with less understanding and actually intensify by forms of slight retaliation. Instead of forced protocol, simply responsibility will go a long way.

Spilled oils and chemicals should be cleaned up properly and disposed accordingly, insecticides and fertilizers should be lessened, and the various particulates getting into runoff water should be blocked at their source. Sources that begin with erosion are prevented by planting trees or shrubs to hold soils tight. Rocks high in salt and acidity should not be exposed to rain or left in streams and rivers. Wastes and trash should be disposed of accordingly and in a proper waste bin.

People who burn of bury toxic substances expose underground water systems to contamination. Animal wastes are also capable of this, and shouldn't be near flowing water in the first place or in any one area in a concentrated quantity. Plant trimmings, leaves, and other forms of debris should be mulched or composted rather than left to gutters and streets where they could wash away. And the list goes on.

To lessen NPS pollution one just needs to keep in mind that the things that we think will be naturally taken care of by flowing water or is washed away and never seen again is actually still visible to someone else. If we each do our own part to keep the waters clean, then overall the streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans may be able to adapt to everything that manages to slip by. If they cannot, then at least the task of future cleanup will be less daunting.

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More about this author: Morgan Carlson

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