Point source pollution

A point source is the exact point where something originates. In the case of water contamination a point source is the single and localized point of origin where wastes are discharge into the water bodies. A point source could be a pipe, a factory, a ship, a ditch, sewage treatment plants, industrial and agricultural facilities and Municipal governments.The various types of point source pollutants found in waters are as varied as the types of business that produce them. A few years back this kind of pollution was the most common to contaminate America's rivers, since there was no regulation or public awareness of the damage that continuous waste discharges did to our water bodies.

Ideally, polluted water and wastes are treated before they are release into water bodies. This was establish by the Clear Water Act of 1972 , which under the national Environmental Protection Agency management (EPA), founded the National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES), a permit-based system that regulates who disposes wastes and where can it be done. In other words no point sources can discharge waste into water bodies without EPA's permission.

Among the many examples of point sources responsible for water pollution, we can mention runoff, one of the most contaminants. When rain falls and flows over different surfaces like buildings, side walks, streets and lawns, it filtrates, mixing and taking with it chemicals and pollutants, this is known as runoff. Although sewage, industrial and agricultural wastes discharges continue to pollute our rivers, thanks to EPA's National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDS), the problem was caught, treated and reduce in time. Regarding runoff there are some states that have storms sewage and sanitary sewage separately , some just have one combine sewage system. The logic behind two different sewage systems is not incorrect at least not at all. Sanitary sewage wastes might need a stronger purification process than rain water, but with the level of runoff as high as they are, water in the storm sewage should be treated, the problem is that it is not. Runoff polluted water in the storms sewages goes untreated, straight from the point source to the rivers and streams. If you don't think that is bad enough, when rainfalls are too massive, sewage systems (specially combine ones) overflow sending untreated, are sewage and runoff straight to the waterbodies.

If you find out about any type of industry that discharges any kind of waste without the National Pollutant Discharge System's permit contact the local EPA office or other environmental protection agency and report it. Is time to reduce the amount of points source in America, so we and our river can live longer.