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Sourcewater Contaminants

  • Point Sources- localized, signle identifiable source of pollution
  • Non-point sources- less obvious than Point Sources, but they are responsible for a whopping 96% of water quality impairments throughout Pennsylvania!

According to PA DEP, the overwhelming majority of impaired watersheds are polluted by nonpoint sources, including acid mine drainage, atmospheric deposition, improperly operating on-lot sewage systems (septic systems), earth moving, stream hydro-modification, improper timber harvesting, and more.

Point Sources include:

  • Agricultural Operations
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant discharge sites
  • Auto repair shops
  • Medical Facilities
  • Construction company sites
  • Golf courses and other large grassy areas, such as business, school and university campuses
  • Underground storage tanks

Some Non-Point Sources to be considered include:

  • Agricultural areas
  • Roads and highways
  • Railways
  • Pipeline systems
  • Commercial properties
  • Residential properties and development
  • Septic Systems (onlot wastewater systems)

Emerging Contaminants

Many drinking water contamination problems arise from people’s everyday activities. Contaminants can be introduced into ground water, rivers, lakes, and streams from a variety of sources: septic tanks and cesspools; surface impoundments; agricultural activities; landfills; lawn care and gardening; underground storage tanks; abandoned wells; accidents; storm water systems; illegal dumping; and highway de-icing are examples.