In our efforts to improve water quality, we often work to resolve the following issues:
Point Source Pollution
Point source pollution is defined by the EPA as "any single identifiable source of pollution from which pollutants are discharged, such as a pipe, ditch, ship or factory smokestack." Common types of point source pollution include factories, sewage treatment plants, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and paper mills. In order to discharge into waterways, point sources must obtain permits from the state and EPA.
Nonpoint Source Pollution
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, unlike point source, comes from many diffuse sources and therefore cannot be addressed through the permitting of discrete pollution sources. According to the EPA, NPS pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. Nonpoint sources can include urban runoff (toxic chemicals, oils, construction sediments), residential runoff (road salts, fertilizers/pesticides from yards/gardens), and agricultural runoff (fertilizer, manure, etc). Sweet Water works to resolve these issues through the Respect Our Waters campaign.
Physical impairments refer to physical obstructions or alterations to a waterway that negatively impact water quality. Such impairments include dams, channelization, and other impediments to water flow and fish passage.