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Engineering Services Best Practices and Blog

6 Sources of groundwater contamination

Posted by Mark Campanale

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

Tags: environment, contamination, pollution, non-point, groundwater, groundwater contamination, water contamination, non-point source, health risk, safety risk, environmental risk, public risk, point source pollution, industrial plants, commerical businesses, wastewater treatment plants, non-native pollutants, human-made pollutants, agricultural runoff, urban runoff, atmospheric deposition