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Codorus Creek Watershed Association

Effects of Pollution

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Types of Nonpoint Source Pollution

The major nonpoint sources of pollutants are sediments, nutrients and toxins.

Sediments

Sediments are particles of soil that are washed into our streams, lakes and wetlands by melting snow and rain. This is known as erosion. Increased sediments may significantly alter the ecology and water quality of our water resources.

Nutrients

Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most common nonpoint source pollutants coming from many sources. These nutrients are present in soils, fertilizer, manure, sewage, and litter. If excessive nutrients are present in water, lakes, streams and wetlands may become eutrophic (low oxygen) and cause fish kills.

Toxins

Chemicals and metals have many positive uses in our society, but many of them are toxic at certain concentrations and can harm aquatic organisms, fish, and other animals associated with streams, lakes and wetlands. These substances are consumed by microorganisms and the concentration of these substance will increase with each level of the food chain. By the time fish are caught by you or I, it may not be safe to eat.

NPS POLLUTION OF CERTAIN LAND USES
(lbs/acres/year)

Land Use
Sediment
Phosphorus
Nitrogen
Forest
200
0.20
2.20
Pasture
350
0.30
4.40
Cropland
1,400
0.50
9.80
Barnyard
1,750
0.80
4.60
Lawn
400
1.20
7.50
Golf Course
1,300
3.00
19.40
Urban Land
570
1.30
9.00

Copyright 2015  --  Codorus Creek Watershed Association (CCWA)