Non-point source pollution (NPS), unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many sources that are both business and residential. Non-point source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants finally depositing them in streams, wetlands, rivers and even underground sources of drinking water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers suggestions to prevent NPS pollution in the mining, forestry and agricultural industries. Specifically, the EPA recommends that agricultural businesses take the following precautions:
Manage animal waste to minimize contamination of surface water and ground water.
Protect drinking water by using less pesticides and fertilizers.
Reduce soil erosion by using conservation practices and other applicable best management practices.
Use planned grazing systems to pasture and rangeland.
Dispose of pesticides, containers, and tank rinsate in an approved manner.