Pollution is, simply, the contamination or dirtying of the environment.  To do it from a point source means that the pollutants are discharged or emitted from a visible, known single source that is identifiable and therefore easy to pinpoint.  Typical point sources include a pipe, smokestack, ditch or sewer.







In contrast, non-point source pollution derives from widespread contamination from a variety of sources, such as when a number of people spread toxic pesticides on a large area and soil and nearby watercourses are polluted. Or when water carries pollutants from parking lots into watercourses.

For enforcement purposes, point sources are easier to find, to monitor and to curtail, through technological devices that clean the discharges before they enter the environment.


Some further ideas to explore on Point Source Pollution:

Identify the nearest point source of pollution near where you live.

Determine if the owner or operator of the point source has a license, permit or other governmental approval for its discharges.

Determine what pollutants are discharged from that point source.



Antonia Cirjak, “What Is Point Source Pollution?”  World Atlas (20 January 2020). bit.ly/3kMR1QY

European Environment Agency, Point Sources, bit.ly/3oDPMpA

National Ocean Service, Point Source: Pollution Tutorial, NOAA bit.ly/3eeLbWe

US EPA, Basic Information about Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution bit.ly/3mCucA6

“Point Source,” Pollution Issues bit.ly/3eamZ7f

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