Sparks (775) 355-0202 | Elko (775) 777-9933 | Las Vegas (702) 475-8899
Sparks (775) 355-0202
Elko (775) 777-9933
Las Vegas (702) 475-8899
Western Environmental
Testing Laboratory
Lessons from the Lab- Noinpoint Source Pollution

There are various causes of water pollution. A pollutant is any substance that is introduced to the environment and increases the natural background of a material.  The two main categories of pollution are point source and nonpoint source.  Point source pollution is a pollutant that is introduced from a single, specific source such as a discharge pipe from a sewage plant.  A pollutant that is caused and/or introduced from multiple sources is called a nonpoint source pollution. 

During spring and early summer, nonpoint (NPS) source pollution is a major consideration in our region.  The EPA defines NPS pollution as result from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage or hydrological modification. They explain that NPS is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground.  As runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.  After our most recent winter that brought a large amount of snowfall to the region, snowmelt monitoring will be an important tool to understand potential NPS.  Analysis typically required for nonpoint source management plans include nutrients (including total phosphorus and total nitrogen), trace metals, turbidity, suspended solids, ortho phosphorus, anions, pH, color, fecal coliform, Escherichia Coli (e. Coli) and alkalinity.  This diverse contaminant list requires multiple bottles, preservatives and hold times.  Because of this, it is important to identify and understand your analytical requirements prior to ordering bottles and going into the field for sample collection.

At WETLAB, our purpose is to provide data for environmental solutions.  Our Project Management team is available to assist with all your pre-project planning.  To schedule your pre-project meeting, please call 775-355-0202. 

For Basic Information about Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, please click US EPA Basic NPS and for a copy of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection 2020-2024 Nonpoint Source State Management Plan, please click NDEP NPS Plan.