Polluted Runoff: Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. For more information on types and categories of NPS pollution, go to the Learn section to the Types of Nonpoint Source water pollution.