Most people are aware that many of the pollutants that are in our waters can be traced to specific sources such as those piped into our streams from an industrial facility or from a sewage treatment plant. This type of discharge is referred to as point-source pollution. Facilities engaging in this activity are required to have a State Operating Permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Water Protection Program that sets limits on the pollutants that are allowed to enter the waters.
It is much more difficult to control nonpoint-source pollution because nonpoint-source pollution enters our waters from a number of sources that are more difficult to identify. These pollutants cause serious stream degradation and we need to work to reduce them. Nonpoint-source contaminants enter our waterways in runoff which carries crop, lawn and golf course fertilizers and pesticides; agricultural animal and pet wastes; cleaning products; sediment from construction sites; runoff from parking lots and streets, etc.
We can each take action to reduce non-point source pollution by being aware of the contributing factors and changing our behaviors to eliminate or minimize our individual contribution to the degradation of our vital water resource.
You can find more information about ways to promote healthy waters in our waterways at www.sgrwa.org