Pollution from widespread activities with no one discrete
source, e.g. acid rain, pesticides, urban run-off, etc.
In contrast to point sources of pollution diffuse pollution
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generally comprises the contamination of water, soil,
sediments and other environmental compartments from non
point sources such as disposal of non-regulated waste on
land, agricultural activities, irrigation and waste water
reuse, atmospheric deposition of pollutants, etc. Furtheron,
dispersion of pollutants occurs within the water cycle.
In general, diffuse inputs are directly or indirectly
connected to a defined economic activities and thus to an
added value. This is recognised in the EU Soil Thematic Strategy
where diffuse pollution is itemised as a threat to the soil
by direct or either indirect pollution.
This description is based on work carried out by an EC funded
project: SOWA – Integrated Soil and water Protection: Risks
from diffuse pollution