Log in

Nonpoint Source Pollution 

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution comes from many different sources across a landscape. NPS pollution occurs when rainfall or snowmelt runs over and through the ground. This runoff picks up natural and human-made pollutants as it moves downhill into waterways. Unlike water pollution from factories and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is difficult to trace because it can combine with other sources before entering rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

Learn More

What can YOU do?


  • Establish riparian buffer to filter pollutants and absorb water, to prevent runoff.
  • Install a rain barrel or rain garden.
  • Limit OR eliminate the use of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and herbicides on your lawn and garden to prevent runoff directly into water bodies.
  • Do NOT leave bare ground - plant native plants and trees to stop erosion and provide habitat for native wildlife. 
  • Do NOT dispose of leaves or other yard waste directly into bodies of water.

Learn More

Residential & Urban

  • Expand OR maintain permeable surfaces to prevent runoff (which carries pollutants).
  • Limit OR eliminate the use of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and herbicides on your lawn and garden to prevent runoff into stormwater drains.
  • Limit the use of road salts OR use alternatives such as magnesium choloride.
  • Contain sediment from construction or other soil disturbances (sediment is a major pollutant of waterways).

Rural & Agricultural

  • Utilize conservation practices, such as no-till farming and planting cover crops, to reduce soil disturbance and runoff.
  • Manage livestock manure to reduce bacteria input through runoff.
  • Establish vegetative buffer/filter strips to prevent fertilizer, other excess nutrients or pollutants from entering drains, rivers, etc.
  • Work with your local Conservation District to understand local strategies or implement a personalized conservation plan.

Learn More

The development of this webpage has been funded through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Nonpoint Source Program.  

Contact Us:

Phone: (989) 723-9062

Mailing Address:

Friends of the Shiawassee River
PO Box 402
Owosso, MI  48867

Office Address:

Friends of the Shiawassee River
538 N Shiawassee Street
Corunna, MI  48817

Log in
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software