Nonpoint Source Pollution (PAS 476)

A Handbook for Local Governments

By Sanjay Jeer, Megan Lewis, AICP, Stuart Meck, FAICP, Jon Witten, Michelle Zimet

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Fresh water is one of our nation's most precious resources. Not only do we drink it, but we water food with it and use it for recreation. However, it is being threatened by nonpoint source pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is caused by water collecting pollutants on or in the ground as it migrates to lakes, rivers, or aquifers. In the worst case, the water becomes completely unusable.

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Product Details

Page Count
Date Published
Nov. 1, 1997
APA Planning Advisory Service

About the Authors

Sanjay Jeer

Megan Lewis
Megan is a planner with 17 years of applied research experience with land-use planning, design, and conservation. She has worked on large-scale conservation planning, green infrastructure, brownfields redevelopment, parks and open space planning, climate change adaptation and mitigation, urban forestry, and NEPA-compliant environmental impact statements and environmental assessments. Megan has helped design training programs, facilitate stakeholder engagement activities, and manage public comment processes. Presently she is a project manager and planner with Cardno, an international environmental consulting and engineering firm. Prior to joining Cardno, Megan was a senior research associate at the American Planning Association, where she lead several complex, multi-year projects, focusing on environmental land use planning subjects. Among her projects she was the managing editor of Planning and Urban Design Standards, a leading reference book for planners and urban designers. Before joining APA she was an environmental land-use planner with Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) in Philadelphia, where she prepared environmental impact statements and environmental assessments for the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) green line development and extension. Prior to attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania she was a research associate with the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C. Megan holds a BA in economics from Indiana University and an MA in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Stuart Meck
My website:

Jon Witten

Michelle Zimet

Table of Contents


1. Hydrologic resources in watersheds
Watershed hydrology • Places where water is stored • Lakes and ponds • Lake stratification • Groundwater • Coastal watersheds • Hydrology summary

2. Nonpoint source pollution
Sources of Contamination • Contaminant fate and transport • Water quality impacts of nonpoint source pollution

3. Controlling nonpoint source pollution: Four case studies
Best management practices • Case studies

4. Model ordinances with commentary
A model water resource protection ordinance • A model residential cluster development ordinance

Methods for determining aquifer characteristics • Rhode Island water-quality classification • Land uses and appropriate BMPs • Water quality checklist for reviewing development plans • Answer key for lake exercise • Glossary • References and bibliography