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Wellhead Protection Program

IDEM’s Groundwater Section administers the Wellhead Protection Program. Wellhead Protection Plans are a tool for communities to use in protecting their Community Public Water Systems. The Safe Drinking Water Act and the Indiana Wellhead Protection Rule (327 IAC 8-4.1 [PDF]) mandates a wellhead protection program for each well or wellfield providing groundwater to a Community Public Water System.

The Wellhead Protection Programs consists of the Phase I, Phase II, and Phase II Five Year Update(s). Phase I involves the delineation of a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA), identifying potential sources of contamination, and creating management and contingency plans for the WHPA. Phase II involves the implementation of the plan created in Phase I, and communities are required to report to IDEM how they have protected groundwater resources. The Five Year Update(s) consists of documenting changes and results from implementation of Phase II. Five Year Updates occur on a 5 year rotation as long as the drinking water system is operating. To further the impact of WHP plans communities may pass a local ordinance concerning wellhead protection.

The Indiana Wellhead Protection Guidance Document [PDF] provides guidance on creating a wellhead protection plan. The Wellhead Protection Provisions in Other Rules [DOC] provides a listing of Wellhead Protection provisions included in Indiana Statute, Rule, and Non-Rule Policy.

Wellhead Protection forms can be submitted either electronically via mail to the Groundwater Section.

Phase I

All Community Public Water systems are required to develop a plan, commonly referred to as a Phase I plan, to protect the areas around their wellheads. A phased in approach was developed to allow adequate time for implementing management measures. All Phase I plans were required to contain, at a minimum the following:

  • Establishment of a Local Planning Team
  • Delineation of the Wellhead Protection Area
  • Identification and Inventory of Potential Contaminant Sources
  • Development of a Management Plan for Potential Contaminant Sources
  • Development of a Contingency Plan

The following links provide other useful information regarding the Phase I implementation:

Phase II

After a specific period of time based on system size and Phase I approval date (see 327 IAC 8-4.1-16 [PDF]) systems are required to document implementation of the Phase I and update their management strategy. All Phase II plans are required to contain, at a minimum, the following:

  • An updated Wellhead Protection Area Delineation (if necessary)
  • An updated Inventory of Potential Sources of Contamination
  • Results of the Implementation of the Phase I Plan
  • Documentation of Training of Local Responders

The following links provide other useful information regarding the Phase II implementation:

Phase II Five Year Update

Every five years after Phase II approval date, groundwater Community Water Systems are required to submit an update to their Wellhead Protection Plan. The Phase II Five Year Update Survey (available on the IDEM Forms page) provides systems the opportunity to document any Wellhead Protection activities conducted since approval of the Phase II. Mandatory updates include:

  • An updated Wellhead Protection Area Delineation (if necessary)
  • An updated Inventory of Potential Sources of Contamination (if necessary)

Wellhead Protection Topics

In addition to the Indiana Wellhead Protection Guidance Document [PDF], there are additional resources that provide useful information for implementing and maintaining a wellhead protection program in your community:

Hoosier Water Guardian Awards Program

All communities with an approved Phase I Wellhead Protection Plan may participate in the Hoosier Water Guardian program by applying for the Hoosier Water Guardian Award. This award program measures the progress made toward implementing the plan and recognizes those communities that go above and beyond the state's minimum requirements.

  • Hoosier Water Guardian Award Application - Fixed Radius Method (available on the IDEM Forms page)
  • Hoosier Water Guardian Award Application - Modeled Method (available on the IDEM Forms page)

Road Signs

Roadway signage can be a tool to promote the awareness of protecting your source of drinking water. If your community would like to post signs in the area(s) of your wellhead protection area you can find guidelines on the Indiana Department of Transportation website. If you would like a digital copy of the road sign design contact the Groundwater Section.

Proximity Determination: Is My Site Within a Wellhead Protection Area?

Wellhead Protection Areas are unavailable on-line as this information is confidential. However, IDEM provides an online Source Water Proximity Determination Tool that can be used for site specific inquiries regarding whether a site is located within or outside of an IDEM approved Wellhead Protection Area and/or Source Water Assessment Area. If the online tool does not suit your needs, then you may submit a Wellhead Protection Proximity Determination Request form (available on the IDEM Forms page) to the Groundwater Section.

If you need the contact information for the Wellhead Protection Area or the Source Water Assessment Area, please contact the Office of Water Quality’s Groundwater Section.

Wellhead Protection Program Tracking

IDEM maintains a listing of the due dates for all Community Public Water Supply Systems with Wellhead Protection Plans. This listing is sorted by County and includes the Community’s PWSID, population, next plan or update due date, and the submission date if a plan has been submitted and is currently under review by IDEM. This list is available to anyone and can be accessed to determine the status of a community’s plan.

  • Community Public Water Supply Systems with Wellhead Protection Plans [PDF] [XLS]

Additionally, IDEM maintains the database Drinking Water Watch that provides information about public water systems in Indiana, such as system type, population, address, contact person(s), and analytical results from water monitoring and reporting in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Additional Questions

If you have any additional questions please contact the Groundwater Section.