Water pollution is caused by direct and indirect contaminants. Direct sources include land uses such as factories, refineries and waste water plants. Indirect sources include contaminants that enter the water supply from soils/groundwater systems and from the atmosphere via rain water. Soil and groundwater contain the residue of human agricultural practices such as fertilizers and pesticides, and improperly disposed of industrial wastes. Atmospheric contaminants are also derived from human practices such as emissions from automobiles.
The N.C. Division of Water Quality monitors local creeks for water quality. Factors such as sedimentation, turbidity and fecal matter are monitored on select streams. Many of the problems stem from nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff from construction sites and developed areas. Recommendations are made by the State for improvement to local water quality.