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Keep Liberty Beautiful: What are nonpoint sources of pollution?
Karen Bell
Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director Karen Bell.

Dr. Karen Bell

Keep Liberty Beautiful

It is vital to keep our waterways clean, and the Adopt Liberty program with Keep Liberty Beautiful is a great way to do that. The program is growing yearly, and KLB wants to thank the groups and individuals that support this program. The Adopt Liberty groups are out on the weekends cleaning up the community. So far, 45 miles of roadway have been cleaned each quarter. We still have more roads and ponds to clean up in Liberty County.

Our ponds, like the ones at Bryant Commons in Hinesville, catch a lot of litter and debris flowing in the pond from city storm drains. It takes volunteers to keep the ponds free of cigarette butts, cups, bottles, cans, fast food trash, and other nasty litter that people toss on our sidewalks and streets and, ultimately, end up traveling down city storm drains. All of these items are part of a problem called nonpoint source pollution.

Unfortunately, the most significant danger to our local waterways is these “nonpoint sources” (NPS), which are challenging to control. What are nonpoint sources of pollution? Nonpoint sources of pollution develop mainly in our homes and backyards, roads, businesses, and more heavily populated areas. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or irrigation moving over and through the ground.

As the water runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants.

Finally, depositing the pollution into creeks, lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground drinking water sources. It is often called stormwater pollution because those little downpours of rain wash the pollution and debris into our groundwater and waterways.

These pollutants include:

• Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production; • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream banks;

• Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines;

• Bacteria and nutrients from animals, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems;

• And, of course, litter.

According to the EPA, nonpoint source pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems.

Nonpoint pollution is known to harm drinking water, wildlife, and — as we are now learning — our sport and seafood fisheries. As urbanization continues, the effects of nonpoint pollution only worsen unless we change many of our harmful daily habits and look for proactive ways, like our Adopt Liberty groups, to create positive change.

To help make a positive change in Liberty County, you can organize a cleanup in your neighborhood or join the Adopt Liberty Program.

Keep Liberty Beautiful provides all the cleanup supplies (garbage bags, safety vests, work gloves, and even litter reachers) for these cleanups. We appreciate any support volunteers can give.

KLB Recycle It! Fairs are coming up on Saturday, February 18, 2023, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at these locations:

• Liberty County Community Complex, 9397 East Oglethorpe in Midway • Walthourville City Hall, 222 Busbee Drive in Walthourville (There will also be a Shred it! Event, at this site only.)

Just a reminder, these are the items we will collect at the fairs:

• Electronics

• Household paint, as long as the cans are sealed well, not rusted, and at least half full

• Used motor oil and antifreeze

• Car batteries

• Household batteries

• Printer ink and toner cartridges

• Telephone books, large sale catalogs, and books

• Household goods and clothes and shoes

• Old prescription medications and over-the- counter medications Contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 8804888 or email klcb@libertycountyga. com for more information. We can all find a way to make our community healthier, safer, and brighter.

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