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Science Word of the Season: Point Source vs Nonpoint Source Pollution

Posted on: Aug 24, 2016 / Conservator Q3 2016-Education-News / 0 COMMENTS

ScienceWord II

Article by: Ian McGregor

The presence of pollution is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence at Bolsa Chica. Though we are spared the big pollution events such as the recent oil spill in Santa Barbara, the animals and plants here still have to contend with a lot of trash that flows in from Huntington Harbour or from the flood control channel. When describing the different kinds of pollution, we tend to use two classifications. Point source pollution is pollution that enters the environment from a single source, for example a broken pipeline spewing oil into the water. In contrast, a nonpoint source pollution is that which doesn’t have a discernible pollution source, such as urban run-off that carries the oil and grease from the roadway into waterways. While both are bad for the environment, it helps to use these classifications to determine prevention and mitigation feasibility; it’s much easier to target and stop an above-ground broken pipeline than to curb a spike in urban runoff because more cars are using the roads.



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