Story: Water quality

Sources of water

Sources of water

Contaminated water that enters a river or stream from a concentrated source such as a pipe is referred to as a point source (top). Water that discharges from overland flow or subsurface seepage into streams is known as a non-point source (bottom). Contaminants from non-point discharges are more difficult to manage because they contribute small amounts from many locations, sometimes including faecal contaminants from grazing animals.

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Environment Southland
Photographs by Graeme McKenzie

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How to cite this page:

Mike Scarsbrook and Kit Rutherford, 'Water quality - Water pollution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 May 2022)

Story by Mike Scarsbrook and Kit Rutherford, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 18 Jul 2016