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Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Control


Imagine the path taken by a drop of water from when it hits the ground to when it reaches a river, lake, groundwater, or the ocean. On this journey the drop can pick up pollution that it carries along to one of these waterbodies. Pollutants come from a wide range of sources. It is often difficult to point to one cause so it is called nonpoint source pollution. In Alaska, common sources of nonpoint source pollution include urban runoff, domestic animals, road construction, timber harvests, off-road vehicles, boats, septic systems, agriculture, and people damaging shorelines when angling or building structures. Nonpoint source pollution is Alaska's and the Nation's largest source of water quality problems.

DEC's Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Control Program is the State's primary program protecting the water quality in Alaska's streams and lakes from nonpoint source pollution and restoring polluted waters to a healthier condition by:

  • Working with other State agencies to identify water quality needs and priorities for individual waters and statewide stewardship;
  • Establishing a schedule and developing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and recovery plans on polluted waters;
  • Implementing TMDLs and Recovery Plans through contracts and ACWA grants to partner agencies, local communities, and others;
  • Managing the ACWA Grant Program that addresses priority stewardship, protection and restoration needs on waters throughout Alaska;
  • Providing technical assistance to municipalities, local groups, and other state agencies involved in water quality projects;
  • Responding to public concerns and complaints on nonpoint source pollution in streams and lakes.
  • Documenting the health of Alaska's Waters in the Integrated Report.

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