What are Point and nonpoint sources of Water Pollution?
Almost everything people do, from farming to manufacturing to generating power has the potential to pollute the environment. Pollution is classified into two forms by environmental regulatory bodies: point-source pollution and nonpoint-source pollution.
Point source pollution and Non-point source pollution
Point-source contamination is straightforward to identify. As the name implies, it comes from a single source. Nonpoint-source pollution is more difficult to locate and address. Pollution comes from several sources at the same time.
Rules for discharge as per EPA
The EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System issues permit to limit such leaks (NPDES). To get a permit, point-source wastewater must be treated using cutting-edge technology. A more rigorous set of laws may be adopted if necessary, to safeguard certain bodies of water.
Individual houses that have a septic system or are connected to a municipal system, or that do not discharge surface water, are exempt from the NPDES permit requirement.
Industrial, municipal, and other sorts of sites, on the other hand, must seek licenses if they discharge directly into surface waterways. Permitted levels of discharged nutrients vary at the national and occasionally municipal levels, although in recent years, such limits have been tougher.
What is Point Source Pollution?
Any contamination that enters the environment from a readily recognized and constrained source, is referred to be a point source pollutant. Smokestacks, discharge pipelines, and drainage ditches, are among the examples.
Firstly, pollution from industry and power plants may impact both the air and the water. Smokestacks can emit carbon monoxide, heavy metals, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, or "particulate matter" (small particles), into the atmosphere. Oil refineries, paper mills, and auto industries, which use water in their industrial operations,can dump effluent or wastewater, containing harmful chemical contaminants into rivers, lakes, or the ocean.
Finally, municipal wastewater treatment plants are another common source of point-source pollution. The wastewater from a treatment facility can carry nutrients and harmful microorganisms, into waterways. Additionally, nutrients can promote the growth of algae in water.
What is Non-Point Source Pollution?
Nonpoint-source pollution differs from point-source pollution in that toxins are scattered across a vast area. As an example, consider a city street during a rainfall. Precipitation wipes away oil from automotive engines, tire rubber particles, dog crap, and waste when it falls on asphalt. The discharge runs into a storm drain and subsequently into a nearby river.
Runoff is the primary source of nonpoint-source pollution. It is a huge problem in cities because of all of the hard surfaces, such as streets and roofs. Although the number of pollutants washed off a single city block is little, but, when the miles of pavement in a large city are combined together, you have a significant problem.
Nonpoint-Source water pollution regulation
On its approach to surface water bodies or aquifers, stormwater runoff collects contaminants from scattered sources, such as pavement, buildings, and agricultural fields. The National Ocean Service describes nonpoint-source pollution as "the greatest threat to Indian coastal waterways," owing to nutrient contamination in stormwater runoff, which kills aquatic ecosystems by fuelling deadly algal blooms. The NPDES, however, does not regulate it.
Nonpoint-Source pollution treatment
Agricultural field runoff of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus is a common example of damaging nonpoint-source pollution. In many places, it endangers human health, economies, and ecosystems by encouraging hazardous algal blooms.Many farmers construct ditches or install drains along natural drainage patterns in their fields to collect runoff, converting nonpoint pollution sources into manageable point sources.
In this regards, Netsol Water Solutions provides all ranges of water and wastewater treatment equipment for industrial sites, municipalities, resorts, and other enterprises, to collect such wastewater, treat it and re-use it.
In agricultural areas, for example, our wastewater treatment systems may be deployed to remove harmful nutrient concentrations from streams. The containerized plants employ efficient MABR technology, to generate wastewater that meets government standards.
The changing legal and regulatory framework for point and nonpoint pollution sources in India, is part of a global trend, towards better water quality management. Netsol Water develops highly scalable, agile technologies that can be customized, to handle water pollution anywhere on the earth. Contact us if you are experiencing point-source or nonpoint-source pollution.