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Pollution whose source is indeterminate or spread out over a wide area. Hardest type of pollution to deal with.

Ex: fertilizer runoff from nearby farmland is causing rampant algae growth in a nearby lake.

Most often the result of runoff in a watershed: when water runs over land, or through the ground, it picks up pollutants from a wide area. As the water flows naturally or is diverted into channels, small amounts of contaminants are concentrated and deposited in a river, lake, bay or groundwater.

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