Enviormental Health- Runoff

By: Mallory Burdt

What is Runoff?

Runoff, also known as Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, is unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, comes from many diffuse sources. NPS 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 into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.

What causes Runoff?


Some agricultural activities that cause contribute to runoff is poorly managed animal feeding operation, overgrazing, overworking the land (for example, plowing too often), poorly managed and ineffective application of pesticides, irrigation water, and fertilizer. Also, runoff from constructions site that carries sediments, chemicals, oils and other pullutants that cause many harmful things like fish die offs, closed swimming beaches, and because sediment can clog a waterway which can lead to flooding.

Ways runoff is being prevented and how you can be an advocate too...

One law that was created to help prevent runoff was a permit that construction workers have to have that says the have the "best management of pratices" to prevent erosian and sendimitation of waterways. If you collect and store rainwater or runoff for drinking, you have a private, or in indivudal water systems you are responsible for ensuring that your water is safe. You should have your water and your system tested regularly and maintain the system properly

How does Runoff affect our health?

Salmonella may be found in water sources such as private wells that have been contaminated with the feces of infected humans or animals. Waste can enter the water through different ways, including sewage overflows, sewage systems that are not working properly, polluted storm water runoff, and agricultural runoff. Wells may be more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time. There is also Fecal Coliforms which is caused when waste products from humans and animals get pickede up from runoff and carried into our water. This infected water can cause you to getdiarrhea, dysentery, and hepatitis. Lastly, infected runoff water can get on the crops we consume. This water carries many diseases that can affect our health becuase we can get different types of diseases that can make us very sick

Work Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.


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"US Environmental Protection Agency." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.