The Wellhead Protection Program is a pollution prevention and management program used to protect underground based sources of drinking water. The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1986, established a program for the States to delineate and manage Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPAs) for protection of ground water supplies from contamination. A Wellhead Protection Area is defined as the surface and subsurface area surrounding a public water supply well, through which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach the well.
On August 18, 1998, the EPA approved Florida’s Wellhead Protection Program. Florida's Wellhead Protection Program coordinates and builds on existing programs and rules that protect Florida’s ground water resources. The program also enables local governments to expand on these rules by implementing their own strategies for protecting drinking water wells.
The DEP Wellhead Protection program incorporates the Wellhead Protection rule, Chapter 62-521, F.A.C., and the ground water protection measures administered by the DEP regulatory programs. The Wellhead Protection Rule establishes a 500-foot radius circular Wellhead Protection Area around all wells which serve community and non-transient non-community public water systems. The rule prohibits certain new installations from locating in wellhead protection areas, and specifies additional performance standards for other new installations and activities. DEP regulatory programs also implement specific performance, permitting, and monitoring criteria designed to protect ground water on a statewide basis.
Source Water Assessment and Protection Program and Wellhead Protection
The Wellhead Protection Program is the foundation for the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program (SWAPP). SWAPP extends the concept of source protection to surface water sources of drinking water. For more information, visit the SWAPP website.
Last updated: March 26, 2015
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