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Source Water Protection


Safe clean drinking water is critical. Since the passage of the 1996 amendments to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, Indiana has developed and implemented a Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) to meet the goal to protect sources of drinking water. Our SWPP is a comprehensive and practical approach to define contributing areas, identifying contamination threats and ultimately implement protection practices which are beneficial to both ground water and surface water sources of drinking water. Pollution prevention is an important component of this effort. Below, several programs are outlined that define source water protection areas, prevent contamination and protect drinking water from contamination. Through these efforts we strive to protect Indiana's surface and ground water resources for future generations.

Source Water Assessment Program

The Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) fulfills an EPA requirement to identify the areas that are sources of public drinking water, assess the susceptibility of water-supply systems to contamination, and inform the public of the results. The SWAP includes both ground water and surface water systems. By identifying potential sources of contamination and using voluntary management of source water areas, communities and water systems may prevent contamination of source water. They may also avoid the additional water treatment costs associated with cleaning up a contaminated water supply and/or the cost of finding an alternate source of water.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Sampling Program

In February 2021, IDEM began Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) monitoring at all Community Water Systems (CWS) throughout the state of Indiana (a CWS regularly serves drinking water to at least 25 year-around residents or has at least 15 service connections for residents). The purpose of the sampling program is to evaluate the statewide occurrence of PFAS compounds in CWS across the state and determine the efficacy of conventional drinking water treatment for PFAS. Additional information on can be found on the PFAS Sampling Program page.

Wellhead Protection Program

The Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP) is the key ground water component of Indiana’s SWAP. This program is designed to protect Community Public Water Systems that use ground water as their water source. A delineated Wellhead Protection Area, approved by IDEM, is created to provide special safeguards and other measures public water systems can use to protect the underground water supply from becoming contaminated.

Watersheds and Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Planning

One of the biggest challenges Indiana’s rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands face does not come from the end of pipe. It’s pollution that can come from our construction sites, our parking lots, our farms, our roads, and even our own backyards. It’s called nonpoint source pollution and it’s a big deal. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) understands this complex issue and what each person can do to help. Watershed and Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Planning works to prevent non-point source pollution to the surface waters of Indiana.

Aboveground Storage Tank Program

Indiana has a Secondary Containment Rule, 327 IAC 2-10, in effect since June 27, 1999. This rule requires secondary containment and a spill response plan for liquid hazardous materials in Aboveground Storage Tanks, storage areas and transfer areas. A fact sheet is available to help you understand how to comply with this rule. Preventing releases from aboveground storage tanks is a best practice regardless of a regulatory requirement. Secondary containment and spill response planning may prevent damage to the environment, surface water or ground water and reduce cleanup costs and liability.

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