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Point Sources of Pollution
Point Sources of pollution are those sources from which pollutants enter the environment from an identifiable point, such as the end of a pipe from a factory or wastewater treatment plant.  For the most part, Point Sources are not considered to be large contributors to water quality problems in the Delaware River basin. However, wastewater treatment plants that do not meet pollution reduction requirements as prescribed by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) can cause pollution on an intermittent basis.

Public wastewater treatment facilities receive and treat wastes from homes, storm drainage, industry and other municipal sources. Treatment of the waste must remove harmful pollutants to levels prescribed by the facility's individual NPDES permit requirements before treated water can be discharged to a stream. However, aging facilities have become less effective over time and upgrading old systems can be very expensive. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that upgrades to small community wastewater treatment facilities in the Delaware River Watershed would cost in excess of $6.5 million. Rural communities with small or dwindling populations often find the cost of upgrading facilities burdensome.

What you can do . . .

  • Check out your public wastewater system-- Public wastewater systems are operated by city or other municipal authority. Some of these systems are old, outdated and ineffective.  How about yours? Contact your city public works office to find out if your city's wastewater treatment facility is operating up to NPDES standards. If not, talk to city officials and others in your community about how to upgrade the system. There may be assistance available through state and federal programs. For more information, contact the Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment.