Source Water Protection & Sustainability for Drinking Water Supplies
Source Water Assessments:
LWS personnel have completed assessments for ground water and surface water sources for public water systems in both Colorado and Oklahoma. The assessments involved delineation of the source areas, inventory of known and potential contaminant sources and land uses, and evaluation of the physical setting vulnerability and overall susceptibility to contaminants for each water source. The primary purpose of the assessments was to realistically identify the highest contaminant threats of concern to each water source. These threats varied greatly depending on the nature of the water source, such as alluvial wells versus deep bedrock wells and rural versus urban watersheds.
Protection Programs and Plans:
Forming community protection programs and developing written protection plans has been conducted by LWS senior personnel for approximately 15 communities across Colorado. Protection programs for each community involved the formation of teams of interested stakeholders consisting of multiple public water systems in the community, local government agencies and land use planners, as wells as Federal land managers and private landowners. Each protection program team was tasked with developing a written plan to identify protection measures to mitigate, or prepare for, the highest contaminant threats identified by the assessments. Protection measures for implementation typically involved educating businesses and landowners in best management practices, working with emergency responders to prepare for release incidents, and working through community planners to develop institutional controls to protect the most critical source water areas.