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Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP)
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Source Water AssessmentsSWAP ResourcesFrequently Asked QuestionsPublic Water Systems in New JerseySource Water ProtectionAdditional Sites of InterestContact SWAP

The Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) is administered by the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, Water Supply Administration within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. For questions or comments pertaining to SWAP please click on "Contact SWAP" above.
Source Water Protection

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 plan.

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 health.

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.

Source Water Protection - EPA
Best Management Practices Training Materials - EPA

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2002
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 17, 2003