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Water: Source Water Protection Case Studies

Source Water Protection Case Studies

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EPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water is compiling examples of good local source water protection programs. As these case studies are collected and reviewed for accuracy and completeness, they will be posted on this site. They represent a variety of approaches to protecting sources of drinking water supplies for a diverse group of communities that differ in size, geography, economic and social characteristics, and type of source water used (surface water, ground water, or both). What they have in common is a fairly comprehensive approach to source water protection that reflects a strong commitment to safeguarding the public's health. We offer them here so that other communities interested in moving to source water protection can use them as references in designing their own programs.

To get information about your region, select your state or territory from the map below.

Map of the US, split into EPA regions Region One: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakaota, Utah, Wyoming Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands Region One0: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

The Source Water Case Studies are placed into one of three categories: Comprehensive, Best Practices or Planning. These categories are defined below:

  • Comprehensive: more than one protection measure is fully implemented to protect against one or multiple threats
  • Best Practices: one protection measure is fully implemented to protect against a single threat
  • Planning: a protection plan is developed, measures may be underway but not fully implemented 

Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont



Source Water Case Studies ME Norway (PDF) (3 pp, 249K)
Norway is a small town in southwestern Maine, part of a geographically-linked tri-town area together with South Paris and Oxford. In 1965, Norway installed its single municipal ground water well, slightly less than one-half mile beyond its border, in the Town of Oxford. Location of the well outside of Norway's jurisdiction has recently presented some major challenges with respect to source water protection.


Source Water Case Studies MA Barnes Aquifer (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Barnes Aquifer is over 12 miles long, and is either the sole or primary water source for four municipalities within the Connecticut Valley of western Massachusetts. These communities and other units of government are working together to find regional solutions to actual and potential contamination. The aquifer's recharge area is under heavy development pressure from large-scale residential subdivisions and industrial parks. In the past 20 years, various wells in the Barnes aquifer have been contaminated with traces of ethylene dibromide (EDB) and trichloroethylene (TCE). Potential sources of contamination to the aquifer are underground storage tanks, businesses which use hazardous wastes, linear sources (sewer, power, roads), defoliants to clear rights-of-way for power lines, road salting, agricultural chemicals, private septic systems, and the improper storage or disposal of solvents used to clean equipment.
The Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee (BAPAC) was formed to develop and implement a regional aquifer protection strategy. The strategy has three main components: education and outreach, land use planning, and water quality assessment.

New Hampshire

Source Water Case Studies NH Manchester (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Manchester gets its water supply from Lake Massabesic, which is located near the downtown business district. The watershed area covers approximately 42 square miles, over twelve of which are owned by Manchester Water Works. From a water quality standpoint, Lake Massabesic is potentially vulnerable to nutrient loading. The implementation of watershed protection is characterized by ongoing cooperation between the public water supply and the various organizations dedicated to maintaining much of the watershed for various types of recreation. Funding for various source water protection-related projects is provided through set asides from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.


Source Water Case Studies VT Burlington (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Burlington, Vermont, is a city of approximately 40,000 residents located on the shores of Lake Champlain. The dominant industry is farming, although urbanization is increasing. The Lake is the drinking water source for Burlington and other municipalities. It also is used for recreation, commerce and is the receiving water for municipal treated wastewater and storm water. Community involvement in municipal planning and decision making is strong in Burlington. A SWPP has been adopted and implementation includes working with the agricultural community to manage run-off, implementing land use controls and permitting, upgrading of both combined and separate waste water and storm water systems, watershed restoration and protection, intake management, contingency planning and routine monitoring of treated water quality.

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Region 2: New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico


New York

Source Water Case Studies NY New York City (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
New York City's population of approximately eight million residents, shares its water supply with one million residents of Westchester, Putnam, Orange, and Ulster Counties, all consuming approximately 1.2 billion gallons of drinking water daily. The source of this water supply is a network of 19 surface water reservoirs, covering 2,000 square miles in a region of upstate New York that extends 125 miles north and west of New York City and encompasses two different regional watersheds. The challenge is to reconcile the public health and environmental resource protection interests of a large and distant city with the farming community's desire to maintain an agricultural way of life in the watershed region.

Source Water Case Studies NY Skaneateles Lake Watershed (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Skaneateles Lake, the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes in New York State, is long and narrow, averaging only three quarters of a mile in width over a length of fifteen miles. It is also deep, with a maximum depth of 300 feet. Given the high quality of the lake's water, the reliance on this water as drinking water for the City of Syracuse and the Town of Skaneateles, and the Villages of Skaneateles, Elbridge and Jordan, and the high recreational value of the lake, the citizens of Syracuse and the Skaneateles Lake watershed have a vested interest in protecting their source of water from contamination.

Source Water Case Studies Suffolk County NY (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
After recognition of the need for drinking water protection in a sole source aquifer (1987), stakeholders combined an interest in habitat protection on the surface, and drinking water protection below to have the NYS Legislature (1993) direct a plan to be prepared to ban development in a 50,000 acre Core Preservation Area, accommodate transferred property rights in a 50,000 acre Compatible Growth Area and mandate local government compliance with plan implementation (1995).  Transfer of Development Rights ( TDR), General Obligation Municipal Bonds, Sales Tax revenue and real estate transfer tax revenue are all used to preserve land in the Core.  Locally conformed planning and zoning regulations implement the plan in the Compatible Growth Area.  Jurisdiction is exercised by a regional council of governments made up of state, county and town representatives.  Further information: www.pb.state.ny.us

Best Practices

Source Water Case Studies NY Clinton and Kirkland (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Based on a source water assessment that showed vulnerability of the 6 wells serving 3,000 residents of the Village of Clinton and the Town of Kirkland to pathogens and toxics, a source water team met to draft drinking water protection ordinances. Representatives from the NYS DEC, County DOH, Regional Planning Agency, Citizens, and municipal officials met monthly to draft ordinances based on a model from a nearby municipality. The ordinances established zoning overlays with certain land use restrictions and performance standards. One of the committee's first tasks was to finesse the current delineation in the DOH source water assessments in order to make the ordinance legally defensible. The Village has adopted the ordinance and the effort is ongoing within the Town.

Source Water Case Studies NY Delanson (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Village of Delanson’s water supply source water assessment showed high susceptibility to agriculture, transportation, and future development from the neighboring town of Duanesburg.  At the recommendation of a New York Rural Water Association representative the village board and water operators met with the town of Duanesburg and convinced the town to protect the watershed.  The town and village plan to introduce a “critical environmental area overlay” inside which 1) developers will be required to minimize impervious services; and 2) facilities for storage of petroleum products or other toxic substances will not be allowed.  Overlaying of the water transmission line onto the town’s parcel coverage in GIS will be utilized to flag proposed land use changes for special review.

Source Water Case Studies NY Tioga (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Located in the Upper Susquehanna Watershed, the Town and Village of Candor rely on an unconfined aquifer to supply well-water to over 850 residents. A DOH source water assessment identified nitrates and pathogens as possible drinking water contaminants. The town planning department initiated a pilot project to collect and integrate septic system data into a geographical information system (GIS), using a GPS-loaded PDA in the field.. This data was integrated with digitized tax maps to generate clear GIS maps of regional septic systems, and color-coded to indicate those with a history of problems and hence pose a threat to groundwater.


New York

Source Water Case Studies NY Rural Water Association (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
In this project, New York Rural Water Association (NYRWA) sought to demonstrate a technique for encouraging water suppliers and communities to use source water assessment data to improve local source water protection awareness. This technique was the use of individual meetings in which water suppliers, local government officials, and technical assistance providers meet to discuss the source water assessment process, review local source water assessments, and outline a list of possible protection actions. After holding several meetings with local communities and water suppliers, NYRWA concludes that such meetings are critical to increase source water awareness and help focus attention on existing and future protection measures. The majority of the communities reached in the project realized that a subsequent source water protection program can be developed and that this would be highly beneficial. Some of these communities have subsequently worked with NYRWA to develop such programs. The project also revealed that water systems are interested in a number of different protection measures based on each system’s unique needs and preferences. These measures range from local laws to public education to updating of their emergency response plans.

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Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia



Source Water Case Studies PA Philadelphia (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Case study describes innovative methods being implemented by the Philadelphia Water Department within City limits and regionally within its watersheds to address the most pressing water quality threats and to protect the drinking water supply of all of Philadelphia’s residents.

Source Water Case Studies PA Schuylkill Watershed (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Case study uses a multi-agency approach to watershed protection for drinking water use.  Schuylkill Action Network implements grassroots action plan for the Schuylkill River Watershed to restore designated uses including drinking water, reduce annual pollutant loadings to source water, and hold forums on source water protection, and on proper operation and maintenance of sewage collection systems.

Source Water Case Studies PA Telford (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Borough of Telford, Pennsylvania, population 4,680, is located in Bucks/Montgomery County, northwest of Philadelphia. Telford has coordinated its efforts with several adjacent watershed communities in both Bucks and Montgomery counties. On January 24, 1996, the TBA organized its initial meeting regarding watershed


Source Water Case Studies VA Stanley (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Town of Stanley, Virginia (population 1,293) is located in the Shenandoah Valley, approximately 90 miles from Washington, D.C. Agriculture is the dominant land use in the community, with intermittent residential, commercial and industrial uses throughout the region. Stanley depends on ground water wells for its drinking water supply. Due to the region's karst hydrogeology, there are examples of surface and ground water interaction where surface streams disappear underground and large springs serve as the headwaters of surface stream flow. The town initiated a wellhead protection program in 1994 which is directed by the Town Superintendent. Public education has always been a primary focus of the wellhead protection program. A zoning ordinance provides municipalities with the authority to manage land use and guide development to insure the protection of ground water. The town is currently development a wellhead protection overlay area with assistance from the Rural Water Association.


Source Water Case Studies Multi-State Potomac River Basin (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Potomac River Basin Drinking Water Source Protection Partnership’s major focus is to give water utilities and relevant government agencies a stronger voice in watershed protection efforts. The group has formulated an overall strategy for protecting drinking water sources as recommended in the source water assessments developed throughout the basin. Cooperatively, the Partnership will implement its source water protection strategy, identify regional protection priorities, enhance coordinated approaches to protection, maintain a dialog on watershed protection and information-sharing, and develop new initiatives to ensure the highest quality drinking water.

Best Practices


Source Water Case Studies Multi-State Susquehanna River Basin (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
To provide accurate locational information on water supply wells to support source water assessments in south-central Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) collected PWS well locational data using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment. The SRBC gathered location data for approximately 100 PWS wells, to an accuracy of less than 5 meters. These data were used to verify source locations and meet the required accuracy standards for source water assessments. Penn State University incorporated this information into a computer model which enabled Pennsylvania to develop source water areas for the communities served by these ground water sources.

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Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee



Source Water Case Studies FL Tallahassee (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Tallahassee operates 29 wells tapping a karst aquifer, part of the Floridan Aquifer System. The city supplies its customers with over 25 million gallons of water per day. There is relatively little heavy industry; instead, the area's major businesses include automotive facilities, dry cleaners, and a variety of light industries. The quality of the ground water is good, and generally disinfection and fluoridation are the only treatments applied prior to distribution. However, the city's water quality monitoring program detected TCE (tetrachloroethylene) contamination in seven wells in the older part of the city. Although the practices that caused the problem are illegal now, TCE has infiltrated the aquifer over the years.


Source Water Case Studies MS Upper Pearl River Basin (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Mississippi's Upper Pearl River Basin served as the model for a project to provide guidance on SWP implementation. The project addresses the use of geo-spatial tools such as GIS, GPS, and remote sensing data to support integrated watershed management. Elements of the project include merging the efforts of local programs with those of larger agencies with land use planning and zoning authority, to encourage collaborative decision-making, stakeholder involvement, adaptive management, shared control, and public education. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, NRCS, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute contributed to the project.

South Carolina

Source Water Case Studies SC Greenville (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Greenville, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, obtains its drinking water from three surface water supplies: Table Rock Reservoir, North Saluda Reservoir, and Lake Keowee. The City of Greenville owns the Greenville Water System (GWS) which is governed by the Commission of Public Works.

Best Practices

Source Water Case Studies KY Murray (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Murray, population 22,000, is located in western Kentucky and is home to a variety of industries, including manufacturing and chemical production. Murray has historically provided its own drinking water from 5 wells set in a semi-confined aquifer ranging from 200 to 300 feet in thickness. The water quality of the public supply wells within the City of Murray continues to meet or exceed all drinking water standards set at the state level. Starting in 1996, the city developed a phased approach to managing land uses surrounding each of its public supply wells. There is a strong public outreach effort and continuing cooperation between the local water supplier and the state officials responsible for reviewing Groundwater Protection Plans from local businesses.  The City of Murray updated its Wellhead Protection Program on 11/14/2006.

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Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin



Source Water Case Studies IL Macon-Taylorville (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Macon-Taylorville Strip Aquifer in Illinois is threatened by feed lots, septic systems, above ground storage tanks, underground storage tanks, livestock waste treatment facilities, treated wood/lumber yards, wells, and lagoons. The Illinois RWA began to develop a SWP plan for the aquifer before the source water assessment was complete. Protection measures include: educational brochures for residents and businesses; incorporating the wells and recharge zones into local county GIS; integrating source water contingency plans into county disaster plans; using groundwater flow models for community education; and collaborating to augment acreage under the USDA's Conservation Reserve Program.

Source Water Case Studies IL Marengo (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Marengo, IL's three wells serve 7,500 people, and are threatened by urban storm water runoff, and septic systems. VOCs have been detected in one of the wells. The City, with assistance from the Illinois RWA, developed and is implementing a SWP plan that builds upon existing state WHP requirements. Under the new plan, Marengo convened a source water planning and education committee, and developed management strategies and a contingency plan. In addition, Marengo passed a local ordinance allowing for source prohibitions with 1,000 feet of the wells and a zoning ordinance within well recharge areas.

Source Water Case Studies IL Pekin (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Pekin, Illinois (pop 33,200) is an agricultural and industrial community located in the west central portion of the state. Pekin's topography is marked by river bluffs, rolling hills, mature wooded areas and several man-made lakes. Nearly eighty percent of the land in the county is devoted to some form of agriculture. Seven wells provide Pekin with 100% of its drinking water. These are relatively shallow wells in sandy soil, ranging from a well depth of 90 to 154 feet deep. Although highly susceptible, well sampling has revealed no ground water contamination. Pekin has an active ground water protection committee and a ground water ordinance that plays a significant role in land use decisions.


Source Water Case Studies MI Ira Township (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Ira Township is the first municipality in Michigan to create an approved Surface Water Intake Protection Program to take advantage incentives offered by EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Protection for protection of municipal water.  The source water protection plan relies on a combination of approaches to accomplish source water protection including determining the source water circulation patterns and their effects on source water, source water monitoring and modeling, a real time monitoring/notification system, watershed stewardship, education and outreach.


Source Water Case Studies MN St. Cloud, St. Paul, Minneapolis (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Upper Mississippi Source Water Protection project is a collaboration among three cities: St. Cloud, St. Paul, and Minneapolis.  Together, these cities are preparing Surface Water Intake Protection Plans based on a guidance publication published by the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Source Water Case Studies MN St. Paul (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The St. Paul Regional Water Services (SPRWS) provides potable water to the cities of St. Paul, Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Maplewood, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Roseville and West St. Paul.  The SPRWS treatment facility receives source water from a chain of reservoirs. Because of severe taste and odor problems in the water from phosphorus loadings  from the Mississippi River source and reservoir sediments, SPRWS implemented a source water protection plan using purchase agreements, creation of an alternative ditch route, abandoning an existing ditch, construction of an emergency overflow weir and avoidance of increase in flood levels.


Source Water Case Studies OH Dayton (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Dayton, Ohio's source water protection program has been widely recognized for its innovative approach to balancing ground water protection with economic development. Dayton's well fields are located within the urbanized core , amidst industrial and commercial land uses and draw from the Great Miami Buried Aquifer, which is part of a larger system that was designated as a sole source aquifer in 1988. This aquifer provides drinking water for 97% of the 900,000 residents in the Miami Valley region of southwestern Ohio and consists of interconnected buried valley and upland systems characterized by sand and gravel deposits. Dayton's Well Field Protection Program (WFPP) was enabled through legislation passed in 1988. The program is characterized by assistance and incentives for business owners, strong public education and land use regulations.

Best Practices

Source Water Case Studies IL North Park (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
In Winnebago County, IL, the North Park Public Water District (NPPWD), which serves over 32,000 customers, is threatened by industrial activity, as well as pollution from gas stations, storm water, and septic systems. NPPWD used the state-conducted source water assessment to develop and implement a WHP plan for its six wells. The plan incorporates source water management, an ordinance to allow local officials to expand source prohibitions to up to 1,000 feet from wells, and contingency planning.


Source Water Case Studies MN Edgerton (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Threats to the City of Edgerton, MN, a town of 1,119 residents, served by a ground water-based PWS and private wells, include existing nitrate contamination, and the threat of pathogens due to nearby agricultural land use. Edgerton drafted a WHP plan, and is working with surrounding landowners to implement a strategy to reduce nitrate levels in the aquifer and to address future changes in land use within the WHP area. The City is currently working with area landowners to apply BMPs to reduce contaminant risks.


Source Water Case Studies OH Middleton (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Town of Middletown in Butler County, Ohio, has a population of 55,000, and its water system serves approximately 60,000 customers. Middletown's 13 active production wells tap the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer at depths ranging from 40 to 120 feet and have a total production capacity of approximately 25 million gallons per day (mgd). Middletown was prompted to begin its source water protection effort in 1991 by the discovery of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the town's ground water sources and a requirement that water suppliers in vulnerable areas undertake wellhead protection to gain approval for system improvements.

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Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas


New Mexico

Source Water Case Studies NM Zuni Pueblo (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
On the Pueblo of Zuni in west-central NM, the Zuni Water Department's (ZWD) ground water is threatened by septic systems, abandoned wells, and above ground fuel storage tanks. The Zuni Environmental Protection Program (ZEPP) and the ZWD worked together to develop and implement a SWP program. Key elements of the program include BMPs near the wells to divert runoff, a SWP ordinance for consideration by the Zuni Tribal Council, outreach and education through radio announcements and posters, and development of well plugging and abandonment procedures. These measures were implemented with support from Region 6's SDWA set-aside funds.


Source Water Case Studies OK Tulsa (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Tulsa’s comprehensive, stakeholder-based watershed management team developed a regionally coordinated approach to reduce nutrients and protect water quality from unprecedented growth of poultry production and resultant poultry litter application to pastures in the watershed.  Settlement from litigation, a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy and a Section 319 Watershed Project are controlling nutrients in the watershed.


Source Water Case Studies TX San Antonio (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
San Antonio, the seventh largest city in the United States, covers approximately 515 square miles of Bexar County in south central Texas. The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) presently has over 330,000 service connections that draw from the Edwards Aquifer, (the first aquifer to be designated by the EPA as a sole source aquifer), the Trinity aquifer and a limited amount of surface water.   Urban development, both residential and commercial, is rapidly increasing in the aquifer's recharge zone. A Wellhead/Source Water Protection Program was initiated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in 1992 for SAWS which used it as the foundation for their program. Additional strengths of the SAWS source water protection program are its abandoned well program, sensitive land acquisition program, land use reviews and assessments, and various contaminant source inspection programs. Public education and outreach are also important components of SAWS's program

Best Practices

New Mexico

Source Water Case Studies NM Acoma Pueblo (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Threats to the Pueblo of Acoma's ground water supply include microbial contamination from septic systems and livestock grazing, abandoned supply wells and storage tanks, and activity on nearby Interstate Highway 40. With assistance from the University of New Mexico and Region 6's Tribal Source Water Assessment Team, the tribal Haakú Water Office in New Mexico implemented SWP measures to address these threats. Key elements of the program include BMPs near the wells to divert runoff, development of well plugging and abandonment procedures, and outreach and education for the Tribe. The efforts were documented in a training video on SWP promotion for other tribes.

Source Water Case Studies NM Pojoaque Pueblo (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The 2,500 residents of the Pueblo of Pojoaque are totally dependent on ground water. The major threats to the Pueblo's drinking water supply are septic systems, transportation corridors, abandoned water supply wells, and underground storage tanks. The Pueblo's Tribal Works Department (TWD), which has had a WHP program since 1994, has implemented several measures to protect its water supply. These include installing protective concrete pads around wellheads to divert runoff, constructing housing around one well, improving security fencing around wells, and installing lining and gravel around well structures for rodent control. These measures were implemented with support from Region 6's SDWA set-aside funds.

Source Water Case Studies NM Rural Water Association and Tribal Lands (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The New Mexico RWA is providing technical assistance to tribal-owned PWSs that have completed source assessments through the work of a Tribal Source Water Protection (TSWP) specialist. A significant focus of the TSWP specialist's work is outreach and education on the importance of protecting drinking water. Outreach efforts include making presentations about the need for SWP, as requested, to Tribal environmental and water department staff, tribal communities and Tribal Councils. TSWP specialists also make presentations on SWP and water conservation to elementary and secondary school classes. The TSWP specialists are also conducting Class V well inventories on tribal lands using PDAs, under an EPA-funded effort.

Source Water Case Studies NM Taos Pueblo (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Taos Pueblo Utility Service supplies groundwater to 1,200 customers in the northern town of Taos. Even though a 2001 source water assessment identified no threats to its water supply, the Utility Service teamed with the state RWA to spread public awareness of SWP and improve protection infrastructure. Outreach activities include a public education campaign targeted at schools, Tribal programs, and local communities. Physical protection measures include signs delineating the limits of SWP areas and fencing to minimize vandalism.



Source Water Case Studies LA Natchitoches Parish (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Sibley Lake supplies drinking water for Natchitoches and 37 surrounding water systems but the watershed is located beyond city limits.  Residential development is served by individual sewage treatment systems in varying degrees of repair and condition. Phosphorus and bacterial problems in the lake can be immediately reduced significantly by a more rigorous sewage treatment system maintenance program, including the establishment of a program to supplement the cost of replacing and/or repairing malfunctioning systems. Under a protection plan funded in part by Clean Water Act Section 319 funds, treatment plants will be inventoried and inspected, ranked according to proximity to the lake and their potential threat, and based on rankings, funds will be made available to sewage treatment owners to supplement the cost of upgrading or replacing systems.

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Region 7: Iowa, Kansa, Missouri, Nebraska



Source Water Case Studies MO Springfield (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Springfield is a city of about 150,000 residents located in southwestern Missouri. The region is currently experiencing a growth boom and has a rapidly urbanizing fringe area near it's municipal watershed. Outside the city, most of the land is used for agriculture, primarily beef and dairy cattle production. Much of Springfield's bedrock is limestone and dolomite, and karst features are very pronounced. The city's drinking water is provided by City Utilities of Springfield, a municipally-owned utility. The city has multiple sources including a spring, a large well, and two reservoir, the James River and a lake. The three primary threats to Springfield's water quality are urbanization, failing septic systems and animal waste. The city's source water activities are coordinated through the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks with an annual budget of $230,000 per year, provided by the county, the city and the PWS. The Committee accomplishes it's source water protection mission through a variety of programs, including development review, educational events, cost-sharing, demonstration projects, water quality monitoring, and use of GIS applications.

Best Practices


Source Water Case Studies IA Iowa City (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Prairie City utilizes two wells that are located outside of city limits.  When the city realized they could not protect their wells from future development, they persuaded the Jasper County Board of Supervisors to adopt a countywide ordinance that ensures that the planning and zoning director considers the location of public drinking water wells prior to approving development.

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Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah


Source Water Case Studies UT Salt Lake City (PDF)
The Salt Lake City, Utah, water system supplies surface water and ground water to more than 400,000 customers. The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities has established a management policy that solicits input from a variety of stakeholders, including the Salt Lake City Council, the City/County Health Department, the County Sheriff's Department, and the U.S. Forest Service. For example, Salt Lake City enforces ordinances to manage the watershed lands that are not municipally owned. These ordinances regulate uses in the surrounding canyons. Hiking and camping are allowed, but overnight campers must stay 200 feet away from any source water. In watershed areas, the city prohibits dogs, horses and grazing, and does not allow septic systems to be used. Anyone caught polluting the city's source water, regardless of land ownership, may be fined.

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Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada



Source Water Case Studies Arizona Scottsdale (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Scottsdale, AZ, one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S., provides water for its 218,000 residents through a variety of surface and ground water sources, the latter of which have become increasingly vulnerable to contamination by septic systems. The City is developing outreach materials for the public about septic systems, their operation, appropriate landscaping, preventing failures, and issues specific to septic systems and Scottsdale's arid environment. To complement this project, the City has undertaken a series of WHP efforts, including a well abandonment program, a planned well inventory and classification project, and continued well maintenance and sanitary sealing.


Source Water Case Studies CA Contra Costa County (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in northern California supplies water to over 430,000 people in Contra Costa County. The primary source of water for this system is the surface water of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers flow from the mountains and join at the Delta.  Source water protection efforts by the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) are extensive and diverse. Strategies and initiatives include regulatory controls, voluntary pollutant reduction by agricultural irrigators upstream of CCWD's water supply, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Project, grazing management on lands within the watershed, and partnerships designed to improve and increase the modeling and analysis of water-related problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley.

Source Water Case Studies CA Hidden Valley Lake (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
California's Hidden Valley Lake community of 5,500 people relies on groundwater that is vulnerable to contamination from residential, agricultural, urban and industrial sources. To confront these threats, the Hidden Valley Lake Steering Committee and the California RWA jointly developed a SWP plan focusing on outreach and the development of more robust source protection schemes. Planned educational efforts include community meetings to introduce the plan to residents, outreach to schools and businesses on storm water impacts to drinking water sources, and demarcation of storm drains. In addition, the plan suggests that the Community Services District consider paying for proper abandonment of wells that threaten the water supply. Finally, the plan encourages the County to enact a WHP ordinance and to expand WHP zones to make vulnerability analyses more inclusive.

Source Water Case Studies CA/NV Lake Tahoe (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Tahoe Water Suppliers Association (TWSA) is a united voice advocating the protection of Lake Tahoe from contaminates that are potentially harmful to our health.  Source water controls go further that the efforts of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other regulatory agencies primary focus on the world-renowned lake clarity.  TWSA members have long acknowledged the regulatory environment imposed by the TRPA has been essential in protecting the watershed as a drinking water source but now it is time to go further.  Sharing similar challenges, TWSA allows its members to combine forces to address federal and state guidelines established to protect that the public from disease.  Together they have created a watershed control plan with common standards and objectives while addressing the specific challenged that reside within each purveyor’s territory and surrounding watersheds.  Included is an comprehensive data and analysis step, education and mapping.  As a condition of the exemption to filtration grated to six of the purveyors, watershed plans are assessed yearly and updated every five years.

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Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington



Source Water Case Studies OR McKenzie River Watershed (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The McKenzie River is the sole source of drinking water for nearly 200,000 in the Eugene, Oregon area.  The McKenzie Watershed is 1330 square miles in size, beginning at the glacial peaks of the Three Sisters Wilderness (over 10,000 feet AMSL) and flowing nearly 90 miles to the Willamette valley floor (450 feet AMSL).  Potential threats to the exceptional quality of this drinking water source include urban stormwater runoff, hazardous materials spills, commercial/industrial facilities, agricultural activities, septic system clusters, forest management activities and roadside vegetation management.  The Eugene Water & Electric Board developed a plan to protect the McKenzie Watershed and in 2001 began implementation of the plan. Implementation included communication with stakeholders, development of partnerships, comprehensive water quality monitoring, development of a GIS-based emergency response system, assessment of nonpoint sources of pollution and conducting various projects to reduce chemical use, increase conservation, mitigate impacts and provide education and outreach for targeted groups/populations. Funding for the source protection program came from a 1% water rate increase and various grant funding sources.

Source Water Case Studies OR McKenzie River Agriculture (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
EWEB began development of a source protection program in May 2001 that implements the August 2000 plan to address the various threats to water quality and long-term viability of the McKenzie River as a drinking water source.  EWEB is currently working closely and developing long-term partnerships with over 40 agencies and watershed stakeholders as this program is implemented in the watershed. EWEB’s Drinking Water Source Protection Program consists of the following eight elements: Comprehensive Monitoring, Disaster Preparedness and Response, Education and Research Assistance, Point Source Evaluation and Mitigation, Nonpoint Source Evaluation and Mitigation, Land Acquisition/Easements, Public Outreach and Information Sharing, Watershed Land Use Tracking.  EWEB has taken the lead in protecting the McKenzie River both in terms of financial contributions and by convening partners to work on a number of watershed protection projects. 

Source Water Case Studies OR Salem (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
Salem, Oregon’s State Capitol, is located in the central Willamette Valley of Western Oregon.  As Oregon’s second largest city, the City of Salem serves a population of 180,000 residents with drinking water from the North Santiam River. The North Santiam Watershed, about 490,000 acres, stretches from the Cascade Mountains to the Willamette River.  The city's intake is located on Geren Island, approximately 17 miles east of Salem. The City of Salem does not own any of the land within the watershed upstream of its intakes. The United States Forest Service and the Oregon Department of Forestry together own 70 percent of the land in the watershed; the remainder is privately owned.

Source Water Case Studies OR Southern Willamette (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality declared a Groundwater Management Area for a portion of the Southern Willamette Valley because of high nitrate. The 230 square mile area includes five cities, and portions of three counties with multiple land uses.  A stakeholder group known as the Groundwater Management Area Committee, incorporated about 60 strategy recommendations into an Action Plan, which propose voluntary actions to address potential risks to the groundwater resource.  Rather than focusing solely on nitrate, the Committee also took advantage of the recently completed Source Water Assessments and incorporated strategies to reduce other potential risks to the 50 public water systems within the same area.  The Committee focused on common high and medium risks within the 5 year time of travel. 


Source Water Case Studies WA Tumwater (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The City of Tumwater, Washington, draws ground water from three aquifers: the Vashon Advance Outwash, Quarternary Alluvial, and Tertiary-Quaternary Undifferentiated deposits. The Tumwater Water System (TWS) operates 12 wells, five storage reservoirs, and five pumping stations to supply the water needs of the 14,000 people who live there. Growing awareness of pollution has led to a heightened concern for the public water supply and pollution prevention. Citizens have expressed strong interest in source water protection programs and regulations, and public meetings on the subject are well attended.

Source Water Case Studies WA Vancouver (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
In 2003 the City of Vancouver, WA initiated a program to protect the community’s ground water, local streams and lakes.  The regulatory basis for the program is a city ordinance written by a team of regulators, industry leaders, and environmental groups.  Businesses and industries are risk-evaluated based on the materials stored at the site. A database stores facility information and a GIS application allows the community to track program progress.  The program has been used as a model for other communities in Washington and Oregon. 

Best Practices


Source Water Case Studies ID Association of Idaho Cities (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
The Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) initiated a broad outreach program that promotes SWP to each city and county in the State. With support from the Idaho Association of Counties, EPA, Idaho DEQ, and the Idaho RWA, AIC developed a packet of educational materials for a variety of audiences, including government officials, the public, and other stakeholders. The multimedia packet, which includes a video, interactive DVD, facilitator's guide, planning manual, and a CD-based compendium of BMPs, was sent to each of the State's counties and cities. AIC plans to follow up with the packet recipients to determine how they took advantage of the educational materials provided.



Source Water Case Studies WA Upper Skagit Indian Tribe (PDF) (3 pp, 296K)
A 1993 WHP report for the Helmick Road Reservation, part of the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe (USIT) identified septic systems, stormwater runoff, agriculture, forests, and an abandoned coal mine as potential threats to the Tribe's ground water supply. In 2003, EPA provided funds to develop SWP measures and a contingency plan. The USIT created reports that compile information about tribal water assets, current and projected system uses, system deficiencies, proposed improvements, water and wastewater alternatives, emergency planning, and short- and long-term conservation strategies.  Subsequent studies show a reduced threat of contamination from on-site septic systems due to the presence of aquitards protecting the ground source.

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