Following the completion of the source water assessments,
source water protection is the next step. Source water
protection focuses on preserving and protecting the public
drinking water source. The information developed from
the SWAP will provide communities with the tools necessary
to begin protecting their valuable drinking water source.
To start source water protection, it is essential to develop
A source water protection plan consists of two parts:
contaminant source management and contingency planning.
Contaminant source management is developed to prevent
potential contaminants from being in close proximity to
the drinking water source. Protecting the drinking water
source may be accomplished by developing zoning ordinances
to control future activities and development within the
source water assessment area that may negatively affect
the drinking water supply. Contaminant source management
also consists of land acquisition, conservation easements,
and hazardous waste collection programs.
Contingency planning is also very important in source
water protection efforts. A contingency plan should be
established in the event that a potential contaminant
source becomes a contaminant source.
An education component is also necessary to include in
the source water protection plan. The education section
can inform the public about their drinking water source,
how their daily activities affect the quality of their
drinking water, and encourage local residents to recycle,
limit pesticide use, and dispose of chemicals properly.
Source water protection is a long-term dedication to
clean and safe drinking water. Many people worry about
the cost of source water protection, but in fact starting
a source water protection plan today may cut cost in the
long run. It is more cost effective to prevent contamination
than to address contamination after the fact.
Every member of the community has an important role in
source water protection. Source water protection is an
excellent way for the community to come together to protect
the environment, the drinking water, and the public's
The 1996 Amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water
Act do not require the development of a source water protection
plan, but the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
strongly encourages the development of a plan for the
protection of drinking water. For additional information
on source water protection please refer to the United
States Environmental Protection Agency's website at www.epa.gov/safewater/protect/protect.html.
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