Controlling the pollution process

Three elementary factors are required for a contaminant to reach a watercourse or enter the ground water:

• A contaminant must first be available. If pesticides, fertilizers, or animal waste are not used in a watershed, these contaminants are not available.

• If the contaminant is available, it must be detached or removed from its resting place.

• Once detached, the substance must be transported to the point where it is integrated into a stream or water body or leached into the ground water.

These factors (availability, detachment, transport) must be addressed when attempting to prevent the movement of contaminants from land to water. A brief discussion of these factors and examples of controls for each factor follow. A variety of management, vegetative, and structural practices can be used to control pollution beyond those illustrated here.

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