U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Notice
Why is there still water that's too dirty for swimming, fishing, or drinking? Why are native species of plants and animals disappearing from many rivers, lakes, and coastal waters?
The United States has made tremendous advances in the past 25 years to clean up the aquatic environment by controlling pollution from industries and sewage treatment plants. Unfortunately, we did not do enough to control pollution from diffuse, or nonpoint, sources. Today, nonpoint source (NPS) pollution remains the Nation's largest source of water quality problems.
Pollution poisons and deforms fish and other animals, unbalances ecosystems, and causes a reduction in biodiversity.
Ultimately, these effects take their toll on human life. Drinking water sources become contaminated, causing sickness, and disease. Pollutants accumulate in food, making it dangerous, or inedible. The presence of these toxic substances in our food and water can also can lead to reproductive problems and neurological disorders. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies and monitors the effects of water pollution and uses this information to set healthy emissions standards and enforce environmental regulations.