Pollution has engulfed the world, and its deadly consequences threaten all the living species. The sources of pollution are varied but mostly result from human activities. We generally divide the causes of pollution into two broad categories- source pollution and non-point source pollution. Let us look into the details of these two categories.
What Is Source Pollution And Non-point Source Pollution?
Source pollution refers to the contamination of air, land, or water bodies through a specific point that releases the pollutants. For instance, we can classify oil spills or wastewater discharged by industry under source pollution because we can identify the contaminants’ source. It is easier to control the pollution in this case. However, non-point source pollution refers to agricultural runoff, land runoff, drainage, seepage, and comes from diffused sources. Unlike the former type of pollution, here, we cannot identify the source of pollution and point it out. Agricultural runoff, rainwater, and melting snow carry these pollutants to the water bodies. In this way, the human-made pollutants get deposited in the water bodies and pollute them. We term this kind of pollution as non-point source pollution. It is one of the major reasons for water pollution in the United States as well as many other nations.
Non-point Source Pollution Through Rains In Cities
Rainwater is the biggest reason for non-point source pollution in the world. Imagine the number of contaminants present in the city. All those different types of pollutants are carried by rainwater to the major water bodies or get deposited in the soil. As rain washes over the streets, it carries drops of oils, debris, rubber waste, plastic waste, and even sewage with it. All the accumulated water ends up in some river or ocean and contaminates it. Rainwater in rural and agricultural areas also carries pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used in the farms. The rain deposits them in streams, ponds, lakes, and other water bodies. When this happens over days and months on a large scale, it becomes an uncontrollable problem.
Another significant concern for environmentalists is snowmelt runoff. Not many people are aware of the harmful impacts of the melting snow on the environment other than the water level rise. Due to global warming, the snow is melting at a more rapid rate than usual. There has also been an increase in snowstorms and snowfall in many countries. When the frozen snow finally melts, it moves over pollutants and carries them along. Moreover, urban snow contains accumulated pollutants from factories, domestic spaces, car exhaust fumes, and various sources. When the snow melts and reaches the water bodies, these accumulated pollutants seriously threaten the water quality. Snowmelt runoff is often neglected, but it is a major contributor to the world’s pollution.
To control the non-point pollution, it is necessary to first put a check on the identifiers of source pollution. By limiting the pollutants in the world, we shall somewhat be able to tame the uncontrollable nature of nonpoint pollution and its grave consequences.