Human activities can have an impact on this planet, both beneficial and… not so much. Over the years, humans have learned some ways to get important work done without impacting the environment in ways that are harmful. Conservation Districts were created to help with just that purpose, to help folks get things done in Pennsylvania without a big negative impact on the environment.
In Venango County, there are 112 rivers and streams. These waterways are very important as they are home to many aquatic species. These waterways have also served humans well in our history - as drinking water sources, for agricultural uses and for transportation uses as well. These days our waterways see lots of action serving as places of recreation in the county. We’re very proud of our waterways in Venango County and we want to make sure that we’re taking good care not to pollute them. We therefore, employ practices that can reduce pollution.
The Venango Conservation District concerns ourselves with helping folks reduce non point source pollution, but what is that? Usually, when we think of water pollution we may picture a pipe dumping waste right into a stream, to be carried off. That pollution is coming from one place – the pipe. That is point source pollution. Non point source pollution is the opposite. Non point source pollution is pollution that comes from multiple places and from a wide area.
Sometimes it can be a little tricky to identify where non point source pollution might be coming from. Sometimes we can see pollution is happening but we might have to really investigate to find where those areas of pollution are coming from. Some sources of non point source pollution might be from sediment run off from agricultural, construction, or timbering operations. Some sources might be nutrient and chemical applications to plants and soil. Some sources might be from impervious areas where petroleum products or trash might be laying for storm water to pickup.
So, what non point source pollution is – pollution that comes from many different sources. The good news is – the Venango Conservation District is here to help find ways to reduce pollution affecting our very valuable waterways. We can help with technical assistance, with education, and even sometimes with finding funding sources to construct practices that reduce non point source pollution.