Point source pollution

Water pollution point sources
Air pollution point sources

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- Point source pollution
Water pollution point sources

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North–South Expressway in Malaysia. A roadway can be a line source of air and noise pollution and need not be a straight line.

Line source

Source of air, noise, water contamination or electromagnetic radiation that emanates from a linear geometry.

Source of air, noise, water contamination or electromagnetic radiation that emanates from a linear geometry.

North–South Expressway in Malaysia. A roadway can be a line source of air and noise pollution and need not be a straight line.
The New Jersey Turnpike was one of the earliest line sources analyzed for noise
Colorado River, receiving effectively a linear source of silt from the sides of the Grand Canyon.
Common T8 fluorescent lighting tubes used in office environments

While point sources of pollution were studied since the late nineteenth century, linear sources did not receive much attention from scientists until the late 1960s, when environmental regulations for highways and airports began to emerge.

Raw sewage and industrial waste in the New River as it passes from Mexicali (Mexico) to Calexico, California

Water pollution

Contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities, so that it negatively affects its uses.

Contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities, so that it negatively affects its uses.

Raw sewage and industrial waste in the New River as it passes from Mexicali (Mexico) to Calexico, California
Poster to teach people in South Asia about human activities leading to the pollution of water sources
Bauxite residue is an industrial waste that is dangerously alkaline and can lead to water pollution if not managed appropriately (photo from Stade, Germany).
Muddy river polluted by sediment.
Solid waste and plastics in the Lachine Canal, Canada.
The Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts discharges heated water to Mount Hope Bay.
A polluted river draining an abandoned copper mine on Anglesey
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a global pollutant that has been found in drinking water. It appears not to biodegrade.
Environmental scientists preparing water autosamplers.
Oxygen depletion, resulting from nitrogen pollution and eutrophication is a common cause of fish kills.
Fecal sludge collected from pit latrines is dumped into a river at the Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
View of secondary treatment reactors (activated sludge process) at the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, Washington, D.C., United States. Seen in the distance are the sludge digester building and thermal hydrolysis reactors.
Silt fence installed on a construction site.
Share of water bodies with good water quality in 2020 (a water body is classified as "good" quality if at least 80% of monitoring values meet target quality levels, see also SDG 6, Indicator 6.3.2)

Point source water pollution refers to contaminants that enter a waterway from a single, identifiable source, such as a pipe or ditch.

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Concentrated animal feeding operation

Intensive animal feeding operation (AFO) in which over 1,000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year.

Intensive animal feeding operation (AFO) in which over 1,000 animal units are confined for over 45 days a year.

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Chicken farms are considered CAFOs and have their own capacity thresholds.
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Swine CAFO
Commonly consumed animal products like beef, milk, and eggs can be efficiently produced with proper CAFO management.
Some argue that CAFOs have unfair advantages due to their ability to shift the costs of animal waste externally like this cattle manure.
MRSA swabbed from CAFO workers' noses was also found on the walls and in animals at the facility where they worked.[55]
Dead infant pigs at a hog farm
The EPA sets discharge limits for CAFOs.
CAFO developers are drawn to states that poorly enforce EPA regulations.
The state of Arizona requires CAFOs to obtain two permits.
Some states have zoning laws that regulate where CAFOs are located.

Generally speaking, the CWA prohibits the discharge of pollution to the "waters of the United States" from any "point source", unless the discharge is authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by the EPA (or a state delegated by the EPA).

Global cycling of reactive nitrogen including industrial fertilizer production, nitrogen fixed by natural ecosystems, nitrogen fixed by oceans, nitrogen fixed by agricultural crops, NOx emitted by biomass burning, NOx emitted from soil, nitrogen fixed by lightning, NH3 emitted by terrestrial ecosystems, deposition of nitrogen to terrestrial surfaces and oceans, NH3 emitted from oceans,  ocean NO2 emissions from the atmosphere, denitrification in oceans,   and reactive nitrogen burial in oceans.

Nitrogen cycle

Biogeochemical cycle by which nitrogen is converted into multiple chemical forms as it circulates among atmosperic, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems.

Biogeochemical cycle by which nitrogen is converted into multiple chemical forms as it circulates among atmosperic, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems.

Global cycling of reactive nitrogen including industrial fertilizer production, nitrogen fixed by natural ecosystems, nitrogen fixed by oceans, nitrogen fixed by agricultural crops, NOx emitted by biomass burning, NOx emitted from soil, nitrogen fixed by lightning, NH3 emitted by terrestrial ecosystems, deposition of nitrogen to terrestrial surfaces and oceans, NH3 emitted from oceans,  ocean NO2 emissions from the atmosphere, denitrification in oceans,   and reactive nitrogen burial in oceans.
ANAMMOX is anaerobic ammonium oxidation, DNRA is dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, and COMMAMOX is complete ammonium oxidation.
The main studied processes of the N cycle in different marine environments. Every coloured arrow represents a N transformation: N2 fixation (red), nitrification (light blue), nitrate reduction (violet), DNRA (magenta), denitrification (aquamarine), N-damo (green), and anammox (orange). Black curved arrows represent physical processes such as advection and diffusion.
Nitrogen fertilizer application
Nitrogen in manure production
Classical representation of nitrogen cycle
alt=Diagram of nitrogen cycle above and below ground. Atmospheric nitrogen goes to nitrogen-fixing bacteria in legumes and the soil, then ammonium, then nitrifying bacteria into nitrites then nitrates (which is also produced by lightning), then back to the atmosphere or assimilated by plants, then animals. Nitrogen in animals and plants become ammonium through decomposers (bacteria and fungi).|Flow of nitrogen through the ecosystem. Bacteria are a key element in the cycle, providing different forms of nitrogen compounds able to be assimilated by higher organisms
Simple representation of the nitrogen cycle. Blue represent nitrogen storage, green is for processes moving nitrogen from one place to another, and red is for the bacteria involved

Nitrogen gases and aerosols can be directly toxic to certain plant species, affecting the aboveground physiology and growth of plants near large point sources of nitrogen pollution.

Common bottlenose dolphin

Wide-ranging marine mammal of the family Delphinidae.

Wide-ranging marine mammal of the family Delphinidae.

The skull
The skeleton
The brain of common bottlenose dolphin (middle) that compared size to those of human (right) and wild boar (left)
K-Dog, trained by the US Navy to find mines and boobytraps underwater, leaping out of the water
The immersion specimen of "Biskit", a three months fetus displayed at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury, South West (Western Australia)
Five dolphins jumping in a show
The dolphin watching in the ocean at south of Cape May, New Jersey

Point source pollution comes from a single source such as an oil spill and/or chemical discharge from a specific facility.

Anaerobic lagoon for treatment of dairy wastes

Agricultural wastewater treatment

Farm management agenda for controlling pollution from confined animal operations and from surface runoff that may be contaminated by chemicals in fertilizer, pesticides, animal slurry, crop residues or irrigation water.

Farm management agenda for controlling pollution from confined animal operations and from surface runoff that may be contaminated by chemicals in fertilizer, pesticides, animal slurry, crop residues or irrigation water.

Anaerobic lagoon for treatment of dairy wastes
Riparian buffer lining a creek in Iowa
Highly erodible soils on a farm in Iowa
Manure spreader
Aerial application (crop dusting) of pesticides over a soybean field in the U.S.
Confined animal feeding operation in the United States
Hog confinement barn or piggery

Farms with large livestock and poultry operations, such as factory farms, can be a major source of point source wastewater.

Water pollution is an environmental issue that affects many water bodies. This photograph shows foam on the New River as it enters the United States from Mexico.

List of environmental issues

Alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment.

Alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment.

Water pollution is an environmental issue that affects many water bodies. This photograph shows foam on the New River as it enters the United States from Mexico.

Pollution — Nonpoint source pollution • Point source pollution

The town hall of Manchester, Connecticut

Columbia, Maine

Town in Washington County, Maine, United States.

Town in Washington County, Maine, United States.

The town hall of Manchester, Connecticut

Point source pollution is discharged directly from a specific site such as a municipal sewage treatment plant or an industrial outfall pipe.

Cape Fear River

191.08 mi long blackwater river in east central North Carolina.

191.08 mi long blackwater river in east central North Carolina.

The Cape Fear River at Smith Creek in Wilmington, NC.
The port in Wilmington on the Cape Fear River estuary
Lock and Dam No. 1 on the Cape Fear River in Bladen County
U.S. Coast Guard vessel on the Cape Fear, photographed from the USS North Carolina
A cargo ship navigating the mouth of the Cape Fear River at Southport
Sunset over the Cape Fear River flowing under the S. Thomas Rhodes Bridge.
Cape Fear Memorial Bridge in Wilmington is the highest in North Carolina.

The Cape Fear River is negatively impacted by point source and nonpoint sources of pollution.

Red circles show the location and size of many dead zones.
Black dots show dead zones of unknown size.
The size and number of marine dead zones—areas where the deep water is so low in dissolved oxygen that sea creatures can't survive—have grown explosively in the past half-century. – NASA Earth Observatory (2008)

Dead zone (ecology)

Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes.

Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans and large lakes.

Red circles show the location and size of many dead zones.
Black dots show dead zones of unknown size.
The size and number of marine dead zones—areas where the deep water is so low in dissolved oxygen that sea creatures can't survive—have grown explosively in the past half-century. – NASA Earth Observatory (2008)
Dead zones are bodies of water that do not have sufficient oxygen (3) levels in order to support most marine life. Dead zones are caused by oxygen-depleting factors which include, but are not limited to, human pollution (4). This is a process called eutrophication, where oxygen levels decrease as elements such nitrogen and phosphorus increase. A healthy river will have increased amounts of oxygen for consumption by organisms (1). As nitrogen increases, algae (5) produce large amounts of oxygen, but die from increased nitrogen. Decomposers then use all of the remaining oxygen decomposing the algae, resulting in no oxygen left and no oxygen being produced. (2).
Dead zones are often caused by the decay of algae during algal blooms, like this one off the coast of La Jolla, San Diego, California.
Climate has a significant impact on the growth and decline of ecological dead zones. During spring months, as rainfall increases, more nutrient-rich water flows down the mouth of the Mississippi River. At the same time, as sunlight increases during the spring, algal growth in the dead zones increases dramatically. In fall months, tropical storms begin to enter the Gulf of Mexico and break up the dead zones, and the cycle repeats again in the spring.
Underwater video frame of the sea floor in the western Baltic covered with dead or dying crabs, fish and clams killed by oxygen depletion
Dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico
Dissolved oxygen levels required by various species in Chesapeake Bay

The superabundance of phosphorus in the lake has been linked to nonpoint source pollution such as urban and agricultural runoff as well as point source pollution that includes sewage and wastewater treatment plants.