One of the ongoing threats to water quality in the state of Colorado is nonpoint source (NPS) pollution, which covers pollutants from a wide range of everyday sources, such as fertilizers and pet waste. Think of a drop of water washing across the land and consider the pollutants it could pick up along the way and carry to a stream; that is NPS pollution! The defining feature of NPS pollution is that it comes from many sources that are tied to actions we all take every day. It is pollution we all bear some responsibility for and we can all take steps to control it.
Common NPS pollutants include nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), pathogens, sediment, and metals, all of which continue to impact drinking water supplies, recreation, fisheries, and wildlife. In addition to educational resources, the NPS Program provides financial and technical assistance to communities for locally-led projects to meet the goal of the NPS Program:
- Goal: Restore and protect Colorado waters from the impacts of NPS pollution.
The NPS Program works with many partners across the state to reduce NPS pollution, including the agricultural community, small towns, and watershed groups. It also works with Coloradans and the many people who visit our state to help them understand what they can do to help keep our waters clean.
The pages below contain supporting information to help NPS partners plan for and manage NPS projects in partnership with the NPS Program.
- Project development resources, (e.g. eRAMS, watershed plan map, etc.), map of previous NPS projects, and project monitoring and evaluation resources to help determine pollutant sources and load reductions.
- Information on the contracting process, project administration and reporting (e.g. sampling protocols, Sampling Analysis Plan template, etc.)
Colorado’s NPS Program works with partners to implement voluntary NPS provisions of Reg. 85. The Division’s Nutrient Management Plan and 10-Year Water Quality Roadmap identifies voluntary actions for NPS provisions of Regulation 85:
- Collaborate with the agricultural community to implement BMPs;
- Work with partners to implement public information and education programs focused on NPS pollution prevention and restoration activities;
- Collaborate on the development and implementation of NPS monitoring programs; and
- Evaluating nonpoint source to point source nutrient trading proposals.
The NPS Program submits a Success Story to EPA annually to highlight where NPS best management practices in an impaired waterbody led to that waterbody meeting water quality standards. These restoration and protection projects are collaborative efforts, and reflect the continued effort across many entities to improve water quality in the state.
Explore these projects on EPA’s Success Story page.
The Water Quality Control Division’s Water Quality Engagement Webpage provides updates on regulations, guidance, and policies as well as engagement opportunities for the public.
If you would like to be added to or removed from the NPS Program’s email list, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agricultural Water Quality Specialist
Restoration & Protection Unit Manager