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Nonpoint Source Program

A federally funded program to reduce and prevent water pollution caused by runoff from urban and other non-agricultural nonpoint sources.

The Nonpoint Source (NPS) Program plans and implements activities that prevent or reduce urban and non-agricultural nonpoint source pollution in Texas waters. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board  handles activities related to agricultural and silvicultural (forestry) NPS. Projects to prevent or reduce NPS pollution in Texas are voluntary and are supported by federal grant funds under Clean Water Act Section 319(h).

What is Nonpoint Source Pollution?

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution results when rainwater draining from the land and impervious surfaces erodes soil and/or picks up pollutants and carries them into streams, lakes, or other waterways.

In contrast, point sources of pollution usually release wastewater or stormwater at specific discharge points and typically operate under permits or rules requiring them to treat these flows before releasing them.

Nonpoint source pollution is difficult to control because it comes from everywhere, from all the everyday, mostly unregulated activities that expose soil to erosion and/or expose contaminants to rain, like homeowners fertilizing or applying pesticides to their lawns, people walking their dogs, and cars leaking oil.

Pollution can alter the integrity of water in one or more ways: chemical, physical, biological, or radiological. When the rate at which pollutants entering water bodies or groundwater exceeds their natural capacity to assimilate them, they may become impaired (fail to meet Water Quality Standards).
The large number of unregulated nonpoint sources make the voluntary efforts of citizens, businesses, service organizations, and other groups an essential part of the effort to address NPS pollution in Texas.

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Nonpoint Source Web Viewer

See our interactive mapping application for Texas watershed plans and projects that are protecting and restoring specific rivers, lakes, and bays.

Managing NPS Pollution Along the Coast

See the Texas General Land Office's Texas Coastal NPS Program website to learn how NPS pollution is being managed in Texas coastal waters.

Get Email or Text Updates from the NPS Program

To receive notices of NPS Program grant solicitations and other updates, go to the TCEQ Subscriber Page and request “News from the Nonpoint Source Program.”

Contact the NPS Program

Please email or call 512-239-6682 .

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