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sediment5 - What is Sediment What are the Impacts Nonpoint...

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What is Sediment? Nonpoint source pollutants come from a number of sources and are washed into our waterways by sur- face runoff. When land disturbing activities occur, soil particles are transported by surface water move- ment. Soil particles transported by water are often deposited in streams, lakes, and wetlands. This soil material is called sediment. Sediment is the largest single nonpoint source pol- lutant and the primary factor in the deterioration of surface water quality in the United States. Land disturbing activities such as road construction and maintenance, timber harvesting, mining, agriculture, residential and commercial development, all contrib- ute to this problem. What are the Impacts? Water Quality and Flooding Sedimentation of surface waters can cause stream channels to become clogged with sediment. When stream channels become clogged, the result will be an increase in bank erosion, meandering, and flooding. Sediment also reduces the storage capacity of reservoirs, destroys wetland areas, and degrades the quality of water for municipal, industrial, and recreational uses. Aquatic Habitat Excess sediment can change a stream from one with a clean gravel bed to one with a muddy bottom. With this change many of our native fish and animals will disappear. Gravel beds and cobble bars within a stream
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