By Tammy Allen, Restoration and Protection Unit Manager, Water Quality Control Division
Nitrogen being applied to growing corn. Credit: Lynn Betts/Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS
Unlike pollution that comes out of the end of a pipe into a stream or lake, nonpoint source pollution makes its way to Colorado’s waterways as runoff across the land when it rains or snows. As is the case nationally, nonpoint sources of pollution cause the majority of negative impacts seen in Colorado’s streams and lakes. In some cases, these impacts lead to public health risks from pollutants such as pathogens or those that bioaccumulate up the food chain to dangerous levels. Fish and the aquatic communities on which they rely are also impacted which can affect recreation and the state’s tourism economy. Nonpoint source pollution is not regulated in Colorado which makes controlling these sources everyone’s responsibility.
In order to fulfill its mission to protect…
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