Arrange computer (internet) access for each group or produce hard copies of the websites.
Copy Lesson 2 for each student.(above)
Facilitating the Activity
Introduce point and non-point source pollution - There are two types of pollutant sources that enter waterways, point and non point sources. Point source pollution is a single identifiable source that discharges pollutants at specific locations through pipes, ditches or sewers into bodies of water. Typical point sources of pollution include industrial waste discharge, sewage plants, chemical spills, oil spills, illegal dumping, and construction sites where 5 or more acres are disturbed. Typically, this type of pollution results from the wastes or by products of public and private commercial facilities, which are purposely deposited into the water. Because point sources are at specific sites, they are fairly easy to identify, monitor and regulate. In the City of Austin, point sources of pollution include businesses that require a permit to discharge their chemicals (Stormwater Discharge Permit Program), and documented spills (Spills and Complaints Response Program). The City of Austin’s Stormwater Discharge Permit Program conducts inspections of specific commercial and industrial operations to ensure compliance with a City Code that protects water quality. Inspectors check materials handling, waste storage, and disposal practices from these businesses. These wastes must be disposed of properly, not on the ground or to a storm drain or waterway. The Spills and Complaints Response Program conducts investigations, assesses the potential environmental impact, determines the responsible party, identifies the pollutant, achieves compliance with environmental regulations, and ensures that corrective actions and preventative measures are taken. Non point sources of pollution are scattered, diffuse sources of pollution that cannot be traced to any single point of discharge. Non point sources can be hypothesized by observing the land use surrounding the water source. Generally, non point source pollution is created through everyday occurrences in places where there is an increase in impervious surfaces and human activity. Examples include: lawn care chemicals, household hazardous products such as paint, petroleum products from cars and lawn mowers, and bacteria and nutrients from pet waste. When rain falls, these substances mix into storm water and eventually make their way into creeks, rivers, and lakes. The concentration of non point source pollution may be enough to degrade water quality and impact aquatic organisms and human health.
PowerPoint Presentation - Present slide show OR allow students to view it on their own using computers. Give each student a copy of the student activity worksheet, Lesson 2-Part 1: “PowerPoint Presentation” to fill out after the presentation.
Student Group Activity Two- Arrange student groups for use on computers with Excel and internet access. Give each student the handout Lesson 2-Part 2: "Point and non point pollution in your watershed”. Instruct students to use links on the Student Page for “Spills In Your Watershed”, Contour Map, and Student Handout #2: “Pollution Permitted Facilities”, and the 2000 land use maps from lesson 1.
Note: If your students have a question about a spill in their watershed or you are interested in having a spill investigator give a presentation to your class, contact Eric Kaufman at 974-3512
If your high school is not listed here and you would like this lesson adapted for your watershed, please contact Sara Heilman at 974-3540