1. What is source water?
Source water is untreated
water from streams, rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers which is used
to supply private wells and public drinking water.
2. WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines it as any facility or activity that stores, uses, or produces, as a product or by-product, the contaminants of concern and has a sufficient likelihood of releasing such contaminants to the environment.
The release would be at levels that could contribute significantly to the concentration of these contaminants in the source water of public water supplies.
3. Where does SOURCE OR drinking water come
source water is defined as surface or ground water. If you live in a
large metropolitan area, the majority of your drinking water probably
originates from a surface source such as a lake, stream, river or
reservoir. The land area that can have an impact on these water bodies
is called a aquifer recharge area, and can be delineated on a map.
If you live in smaller community or have a private well, it is more
likely that your water originates from underground and is pumped to the
surface through a well. Ground water comes from natural underground
layers, often of sand or gravel, that contain water. These formations
are called aquifers. The land area that can have an impact on the
quality of this underground water is called the watershed.
4. What are the
threats to Source Water?
are many contaminants that may be present in source water before it is
treated. These include:
- Microbial contaminants, such
as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment
plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and
- Inorganic contaminants, such
as salts and metals, which can occure naturally or result from urban
stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil
and gas production, mining, or farming.
- Pesticides and herbicides,
which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture,
stormwater runoff, and residential uses.
- Organic chemical contaminants,
including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are
by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and
can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic
- Radioactive contaminants,
which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas
production and mining activities.
5. WHAT TYPES
OF CONTAMINANT SOURCES DOES THE SOURCE WATER ASSESSMENT PLAN
protect Source Waters?
Protection of drinking water at the
source can be successful in providing public health protection and
reducing the treatment challenge for public water suppliers. Source
water quality can be threatened by many everyday activities and land
uses, ranging from industrial wastes to the chemicals applied to
suburban lawns. In some cases, source water protection can
eliminate or forestall the need to change or modify treatment processes.
Treatment is expensive and source water protection can save consumers