Sources of groundwater contamination
By Jeremy Brandl, Engineering Technician for External Compliance
Contamination affecting water groundwater quality may come from point or non-point sources, or a combination of both. Groundwater contamination could pose significant risk to health, safety, the environment, and public welfare. Point source pollution is the introduction of a non-native pollutants into a groundwater aquifer. A point source impurity enters the water resource at an identifiable, distinct location though a direct route. Discharges from point sources of pollution often are continuous, and easier to identify discharges into the environment.
Examples of point sources include:
* Industrial plants
* Commercial businesses
* Wastewater treatment plants
Non-Point source pollution is the introduction of a non-native pollutants into a groundwater aquifer. This source 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 even our underground sources of drinking water. Because of these properties, non-point sources are difficult to control.
Examples of non-point sources include:
* Agricultural runoff
* Urban runoff
* Atmospheric Deposition