By: Cassi Garland

Affecting our Community:

Runoff from winter and spring has caused an increase in salinity levels which may be harmful for those environments and species' living there. “Salinity levels in streams across the Northeastern United States have been steadily increasing for several decades, and the culprit is clearly road salt,” said Todd Walter, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and adviser to the students.

Non-point Source Pollution

Because of runoff, pollutants in the ground or dirt fall into water sources making them polluted and unclean. This is mainly caused by natural sources such as rainfall or snow melt which is different from diffuse sources. Once the pollutants contaminate the water sources nearby, it is unsafe for animals in that habitat to live there as well as people retrieving water from those areas.


In order to prevent runoff from polluting nearby water sources, it would be helpful to not litter anywhere so that when it does occur, the water won't be filled with debris. Another way people have been trying to prevent runoff issues is creating barriers so clean water isn't filled with dirt and other residue from rain and snow.