Three Examples of Point Source Pollutants
Point source pollutants come from a specific, identifiable location. Pollution from these types of pollutants is categorized as point source pollution by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Clean Water Act further defines point source pollution as a "conveyance … from which pollutants are or may be discharged." The term differentiates such pollutants from so-called non-point source pollutants -- water pollution without a specific source. Unlike point source pollution, non-point source pollution is caused by rainfall or snow melt, moving pollutants through and over the Earth's surface. An example would be agricultural runoff occurring over thousands of acres when excess rainwater washes agricultural chemicals into rivers and lakes. By contrast, point source pollution occurs when animal waste from a specific livestock farm in a given area enter a local body of water. Point source pollution is most commonly caused by three sources.