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Nonpoint Source Pollution: Public Education

Materials for communities, schools, groups, and others to participate in the Nonpoint Source(NPS) Pollution public education campaigns.

What Is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution results when small amounts of contaminants from a large number of sources are carried by rainfall runoff into streams, lakes, or bays. For example, pollutants may be washed off lawns, construction areas, farms, or highways during a heavy rain and carried to a nearby creek.

Use these materials in your community or in public outreach campaigns to educate people about NPS Pollution. Items with a publication number (such as GI-028) can be ordered from the TCEQ


The following other Take Care of Texas Guides offer more tips to help save time, money, and effort while conserving water and energy, keeping the air clean, and reducing waste in your yard:

Other Resources

  • Storm Water Outreach Materials: Exit the TCEQ materials and resources for citizens, state or local governments, and construction site operators to educate communities about storm water runoff.
  • Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox: Exit the TCEQ collection of local and national outreach materials for use and sharing by citizens and local governments to educate communities about NPS pollution.
  • Galveston Bay Estuary Program NPS of Pollution Action Plan:Exit the TCEQ developed to reduce and eventually eliminate harm from nonpoint sources entering Galveston Bay.

  • Southern Regional Water Program Pollution Assessment and Prevention:Exit the TCEQ  provides research, education and extension outreach resources to assist natural resource agencies, industry, communities, private citizens, and non-profit organizations in assessing the risk and impact of NPS pollution on water quality as well as developing and promoting pollution prevention strategies for NPS pollution.

  • EPA's SepticSmart: encourages homeowners to take steps to maintain their home septic systems, preventing costly repairs and pollution to local waterways. This national program also provides tools and materials for local and regional outreach programs.

For more information, e-mail us at

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Water Education: Lesson Plans for Educators

Download free lesson plans and handouts from the TCEQ's water-quality publication for educators, Field Guide to Water Education. This guide is for use by instructors with students of all ages, and includes an introduction to the water cycle, aquatic life, and water pollution.

Field Guide to Water Education 

You can download the entire publication Adobe Acrobat PDF Document or only the packet of student handouts Adobe Acrobat PDF Document.

Individual student handouts and lesson plans (with TEKS references) provided below in pdf. 

LessonSummaryScience TEKS
(as of 2015)
The Water Cycle Demonstrate your understanding of the water cycle and how we fit into this cycle. 4.1B; 4.7A,B,C; 4.8B
5.1B; 5.5D; 5.7B; 5.8B; 5.9A,B,D

Lesson Plan

Watershed Survey Draw the boundaries of a watershed and explain where rainwater goes in this area. 4.2B; 4.3C; 4.4A
5.2C; 5.3C; 5.4A
6.2C; 6.3B; 6.4A

Lesson Plan

The Aquatic Food Web Develop an aquatic food web and understand the relationship between these organisms. 4.3A; 4.9A,B
5.3A; 5.9A,B
6.3B; 6.12A,F

Lesson Plan

Water Pollution Investigate the cause of 10 water pollution scenarios. 4.2D,F; 4.3A
5.2D,F; 5.3A; 5.5D; 5.9C,D
6.2E; 6.3A

Lesson Plan

Survey: On-Site Sketch Observe and identify the characteristics of a water body. 4.2B,D; 4.3A; 4.4A; 4.7A
5.2C; 5.3A; 5.4A
6.2C; 6.4A

Lesson Plan

Survey: Invasive Species–Aquatic Plants Observe and identify aquatic plants considered invasive species. 4.1A; 4.2B; 4.4A,B; 4.10A
5.1A; 5.2C; 5.4A,B; 5.10A
6.1A; 6.4A,B

Lesson Plan

Survey: Physical Properties Test the physical properties of a water body and hypothesize factors influencing it. 4.1A; 4.2A,B,D,E,F; 4.3A, 4.4A,B
5.1A; 5.2A,C,D,E,F; 5.3A; 5.4A,B
6.1A; 6.2A,E; 6.3A; 6.4A,B

Lesson Plan

Survey: Chemical Properties Test the chemical properties of a water body and hypothesize factors influencing it. 4.1A; 4.2A,B,D,F; 4.3A, 4.4A,B
5.1A; 5.2A,C,D,F; 5.3A; 5.4A,B
6.1A; 6.2A,E; 6.3A; 6.4A,B

Lesson Plan

Survey: Biological Properties Collect benthic macroinvertebrates (insects, etc.) to determine water quality. 4.1A; 4.2A,B,D,F; 4.3A; 4.4A,B; 4.10A
5.1A; 5.2A,B,C,D,F; 5.3A; 5.4A,B; 5.9A; 5.10A,C
6.1A; 6.2A,B,E; 6.3A; 6.4A,B; 6.12C,D

Lesson Plan

Data Analysis Explore reasons that caused the results of their collected data. 4.2E,F
Lesson Plan
Community Awareness Plan Brainstorm any discovered water quality problems to find its cause. Develop and implement a plan to address this issue. 4.2C,D,F; 4.3A
5.2D,F,G; 5.3A
6.2E; 6.3A
Lesson Plan