Most humans tend to unleash pollution into the environment. Almost everything they do, from manufacturing products to growing foods and producing electricity, releases pollution into the environment.
Pollutants harm the environment in several ways. They spread pollution in various ways. Thus, to identify a source of pollution, the environmental regulatory agencies have categorized them as:
- The point source of pollution
This is easy to recognize and originates from a single source.
- Non-point source of pollution
It comes from multiple sources, all at once.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a point source of pollution is a type of pollutant that infiltrates the environment at a place that can be located easily. Such areas are supervised by state and federal departments.
which of the following sources of pollution would be the most difficult to track and regulate?
To understand more about the two of them, let’s analyze in detail:
The point source of pollution
The point source is coined from the term algebra, meaning something that makes identification hassle-free. Point sources are found in disciplines as engineering, physics or chemistry.
Additionally, you can name some factories that pollute water. To be specific, water pollution is a great example.
- Water pollution occurs as a result of factory-made stormwater discharges found on construction sites, or metropolitan storm sewer structures.
- Farms and oil refineries are also other common point sources of pollution.
- Jet engines are categorized as point sources of air pollution.
- Light pollution can be segregated as invasive street lights.
One major thing to consider is point sources do not have properly defined geometrical dimensions. They are differentiated based on elevation. While some are ground-level others are at a specific height of the ground.
The impact of the point source is maximum in the affected area while the effect of non-point is experienced on a global scale.
Non-point source of pollution
Nonpoint-source pollution is where the pollutants are released in a wide area. Runoff is a major source of nonpoint pollution. It is quite difficult to identify.
The types of non-point sources include volume, area or line surfaces. Emissions from vehicles are a great example. While area sources are attributed as two-dimensional, volume sources add as a third dimension.
Examples of area sources: Landfills, forest set on fire or evaporation from dangerous liquids.
Volume surfaces Gas discharges from elevations in industrial facilities.
To manage pollution, the United States Environmental Protection Agency curated the Clean Water Act, which aims at regulating emissions of pollutants into waters.
Other ways of controlling water pollution are watershed preservation efforts. Pollution prevention is most efficiently taken care at local, state, and federal levels. Citizens can also contribute by actively creating awareness about pollution and trying to prevent it, even on a smaller scale.
Non-point or Point Sources: Which source of pollution would be difficult to track and regulate?
After having an understanding of both the types of sources, it becomes quite obvious to understand that a non-point source is a bit unmanageable. Because there is no direct contact with the deposition spaces. The pollutants get washed away by agents like air, water or snow.
Waste from houses, abandoned coal mines do not cause harm directly. But, when accompanied with water, they get carried away to deteriorate the freshwater, soil, air or land.
Non-point sources are not identified easily since they are not carried away through tunnels or sewage or chimneys. They get mixed up with fresh agents or by humans, at times. Human shoes can be a major contributor that results in pollution.
Thus, the inability to flow from one point is the major reason why non-point sources are difficult to regulate.
Taking some preventive steps can help us ensure better environmental practices in place. The prime aim is to design a better sewage system. Listed below are some methods that can help control point and nonpoint sources of pollution at different places.
- Construction of a wasteland close to a factory can limit non-point sources of pollution.
- A reservoir to catch runoff water is another added measure.
- Sediment fences also help filter waste and sediments, thereby helping in minimizing waste contamination in water bodies.
Filtering out sewage is the only means to eradicate pollutants in water bodies.