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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Nonpoint Source Pollution

The vision of the Kentucky Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program is to       protect the quality of Kentucky’s surface and groundwater from known NPS       pollution, to abate NPS threats, and to restore degraded waters to the extent that water quality standards are met and beneficial uses are supported.

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, also known as runoff or diffuse pollution, is the number one contributor to water pollution in Kentucky.  Wherein it accounts for approximately two-thirds of the water quality impairments in Kentucky’s streams and lakes.  It can be defined as any source of pollution that enters the environment through some means other than a point source (such as a pipe from a sewage treatment plant) and comes from many different sources.
NPS pollution occurs when runoff from rainfall or snowmelt is not able to infiltrate into the soil, and instead flows over the surface of the ground picking up pollutants along the way.  This contaminated runoff then either flows directly to a waterbody or into a storm drain where it is delivered into a waterbody.  These pollutants that are carried by the runoff are then deposited into lakes, rivers, wetlands, and even in underground aquifers.  NPS pollution is a concern because the presence of these pollutants in waterbodies can have detrimental effects on aquatic life and habitat, on drinking water supplies, and on the recreational use of a waterbody. 

Section 319(h) Grant Program
The Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW) is tasked with reducing nonpoint source pollution in the Commonwealth.  By amendment to the federal Clean Water Act in 1987, the Section 319(h) Grant program was established to provide funding for efforts to reduce nonpoint source pollution.   Funding for the Kentucky Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program originates from this amendment, and is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Within this program, funds may be used to demonstrate innovative best management practices (BMPs), support education and outreach programs, and   restore impaired streams and other water resources.  For more information on the Section 319(h) grant application and funding process, please visit our NPS Funding page.


NPS Mailing List
To be added to the Nonpoint Source Pollution email list, use one of the options below: 

You will receive information on workshop announcements, activities, reports and other information. 

If at any time you wish to have your name removed from the list, you can do so by emailing the options above and put “DELETE ME” in the subject line.