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  1. The difference between point source and nonpoint source pollution



    What is the difference between point source and nonpoint source pollution? Which is the bigger problem? Why?   



Subject Environmental Science Pages 3 Style APA


Difference between Point Source and Non-Point Source Pollution


This paper discusses the difference between point source and non-point source pollution, and then proceeds to establish the bigger problem between the two categories of pollution. The primary difference between point source pollution and non-point source pollution lies in the fact that point source pollution originates from a single or one point, whereas non-point source pollutions emanates or comes from various places or areas, all at once (McKenzie et al., 2018).The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers point source pollution as any contaminant entering the environment from an easily recognized and restrained place. According to McKenzie et al. (2018), power plants and factories are examples of point-source pollution, affecting both water and air. Smokestacks may spew heavy metal, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, or sulfur dioxide into the air. Auto plants, paper mills, and oil refineries that employ water as a component of their manufacturing processes and procedures can also discharge effluent into oceans, lakes, and rivers, causing pollution.

Moreover, municipal wastewater treatment plants are common point-source pollution (McKenzie et al., 2018). Effluent from these plants can introduce harmful microbes and nutrients into waterways. Nutrients can result in rampant algae growth in water. Runoff is considered a major root of non-point source pollution (McKenzie et al., 2018). Acid rain is also an example of nonpoint source pollution, as it results from the long-range movements of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide that combine with water within the atmosphere.

Since non-point source comes from various places, it happens to be the bigger problem. Point source pollution is the smaller problem between the two, as it is easy to identify, owing to its origination from a single area. On the other hand, non-point source pollution present a bigger problem as pollutants from this source are released within a wider geographical area. Run-off is considered a significant pollution problem in cities, owing to the hard surfaces including roofs and streets (McKenzie et al., 2018). Even though the quantity of pollutants washed from a single block of city might be small, a big problem can be realized when the miles of pavement within a big city are added.


There exists a significant difference between point-source and non-point source pollution. Whereas point source pollution emanates from a single point, non-point source pollution has multiple sources. Therefore, addressing non-point source pollution is more challenging than handling point source pollution. Since non-point source pollution control the efforts have to be focused on a range of sources, more resources are needed to address this form of pollution relative to point source pollution. 




McKenzie, F. J., Pinger, R. R., &Seabert, M. D. (2018). An Introduction to Community & Public Health 9th.Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC

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