Wellhead Protection Tips

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					    For example, at a school, be sure that:          TALK                                                  EDUCATE
•     art supplies are properly stored and hazard-      Be sure that town officials know you operate          Inform your staff as well as your water users
      ous wastes produced by the art studio are      a public water system. Explain the exact location     about potential threats; they may help you locate a
      not discharged through the sink;               of your well and your Zone I. You may be able         problem. DWS can provide you with sample

•     laboratory chemicals are properly stored and
                                                     to work with town officials to reduce threats from
                                                     town-wide activities such as road salting. If your
                                                                                                           notices you may post within your facility to remind
                                                                                                           your staff that they are within the protected area of
      disposed of; and                               town has a groundwater protection zoning
                                                     district, request that your IWPA be included in
                                                                                                           a water supply. It is critical to water supply protec-
                                                                                                           tion that the public be aware of a resource area as
                                                                                                                                                                    Protection Tips
•     waste oils and antifreeze from the automo-     the regulations as well. If you are concerned         well. Post signs at reasonable access routes within      For Small Public Water Systems
      bile shop are properly labeled, stored, and    about a particular activity near your well, request   and surrounding the Zone I to inform visitors that
      disposed of.                                   that the Board of Health perform an inspection.       they are entering a sensitive area.
                                                     Ask them to notify you of any corrective action.
   Work with the director of your facility to                                                              BENEFITS
correct any problems you may notice.
                                                                                                               Wells with an approved wellhead protection plan
                     Potential Threats Around a Small Public Water Supply                                  are eligible for cost-saving SOC/VOC monitoring
                                                                                                           waivers. Also, protecting your water quality saves
                                                                                                           you the added expense of costly water treatment.
                                                                                                           Ultimately, the protective measures you take help
                                                                                                           to ensure high-quality drinking water. Clean water
                                                                                                           preserves public health and enhances the quality of
                                                                                                           life in your community.

                                                                                                           For further information on drinking water
                                                                                                           protection, please contact DEP's Division of
                                                                                                           Water Supply, One Winter Street, Boston, MA
                                                                                                           02108, (617) 292-5770.

                                                                                                                        Prepared by the Massachusetts
                                                                                                                        Department of Environmental                 Division of Water Supply
                                                                                                                        Protection, Division of Water               Department of Environmental Protection
                                                                                                                        Supply, One Winter Street, Boston,
                                                                                                                        MA 02108, September 1995.
                                                         quality occur within the Zone I. Regularly inspect    •      inspect backflow prevention valves and                     mine if herbicides or pesticides are absolutely
                                                         your protection area to be sure the water supply is          replace as needed.                                         necessary. If you must use them in the IWPA, be
                                                         not being degraded.                                                                                                     aware of specific restrictions, registration require-
                                                                                                               DON’T:                                                            ments, and storage guidelines, which vary depend-
                                                         Zone II / IWPA                                                                                                          ing upon the quantity and types of products you
                                                                                                               •  allow the installation of floor drains that
                                                            The area of an aquifer that contributes water to                                                                     choose to apply. Contact DWS, (617) 292-5859,
                                                                                                                      discharge to a drywell or any surface leach-
                                                         a well under the most severe pumping and recharge                                                                       for more information.
                                                                                                                      ing system within 100 feet of the well bore;
                                                         conditions is known as the Zone II.
                                                            For public supply wells that lack a DEP ap-                                                                          S e p t i c S y s t e m s -- Septic tanks, leach fields,
                                                                                                               •      store any type of chemical in or near the

       mall water systems such as schools,               proved Zone II, DEP applies an Interim Wellhead                                                                         etc., should be removed and placed outside of the
                                                         Protection Area (IWPA). This is the area within a            well house; or
       libraries, or restaurants can take steps to                                                                                                                               Zone I of a well. Septic systems near the Zone I
       protect their water sources from contamina-       one-half-mile radius for sources whose approved                                                                         should be well maintained. Pump septic tanks
tion. Wellhead protection begins with the owner          pumping rate is 100,000 gallons per day (gpd) or      •      thread sample taps to prevent cross connec-
                                                                                                                                                                                 every two years. Never dump hazardous sub-
                                                         greater. For smaller sources, the IWPA radius is             tions.
and operator of a well. As a water provider, you                                                                                                                                 stances down the drains. Do not use septic system
should:                                                  proportional to the well’s approved daily volume.                                                                       cleaners.
√   Familiarize yourself with the established                                                                                                                                    S t o r a g e A r e a s -- Do not store hazardous
    protection areas around the well;                    PRACTICE                                                 Look carefully at activities and businesses
                                                                                                                                                                                 substances (i.e., gasoline, garden chemicals,
                                                                                                               around the well site. Identify any threats to water
                                                                                                               quality and develop strategies to address them. Be                paints, deicers/salt, motor oil, or antifreeze) within
                                                            A well must be secure and protected. To ensure
√   Practice good management procedures;                                                                                                                                         a Zone I, either indoors or outdoors. If it is
                                                         the safety and purity of the well,                    sure to include:
                                                                                                                                                                                 absolutely necessary to store these materials, do so
√   Examine activities around the well;                                                                                                                                          outside the Zone I, and locate them in a secure
                                                         DO:                                                   U n d e r g r o u n d S t o r a g e T a n k s -- Leaking oil
                                                                                                               and gasoline USTs contaminate soil and ground-                    building equipped with an impermeable floor and
√   Talk with municipal officials; and                   •     restrict access to the well;
                                                                                                               water. If a UST is located within the Zone I of a                 with adequate spill containment precautions.
                                                         •     label clearly any hazardous materials           well, remove it to a location outside the Zone I
√   Educate staff and water users about the                                                                                                                                      P a r k i n g a n d V e h i c l e U s e -- Do not establish a
                                                               located near the well;                          and check for signs of previous spills or leaks. If
    importance of clean water.                                                                                                                                                   parking area in the Zone I. Perform mainte-
                                                                                                               you need to store fuel for power pumps, DWS
                                                                                                               recommends that you consider using alternate                      nance and washing of vehicles beyond the pro-
                                                         •     cap and/or screen all vents, access ports,
FAMILIARIZE                                                                                                    fuels, such as natural gas or propane. Store these                tected radius. Keep any vehicles that must
                                                               and other openings;
                                                                                                               fuels in an above-ground tank on a concrete                       operate within the Zone I in good repair to
Zone I                                                                                                                                                                           prevent leaks and spills. Thoroughly clean up any
                                                         •     check the condition of sanitary seals and       platform. Any heating oil tanks in your IWPA
    The primary protection area around a small                                                                                                                                   leaks or spills immediately.
                                                               replace those that are not intact;              should be in above-ground or basement tanks
public water system (PWS) is known as the Zone I.
                                                                                                               located not only on an impermeable surface, but
The Zone I is a 100- to 400-foot protective radius                                                                                                                               M u n i c i p a l / I n s t i t u t i o n a l S y s t e m s -- Your
                                                         •     slope parking areas and concrete pads           also contained in an area large enough to hold the
around the well or wellfield which must be owned                                                                                                                                 own facility may perform some of the harmful
                                                               under storage areas away from the well,         complete liquid volume, should a spill occur.
or controlled by the water supplier using conserva-                                                                                                                              activities listed above. In addition, your system
tion restrictions. The extent of the protective                periodically check their condition, and
                                                                                                               H e r b i c i d e s a n d P e s t i c i d e s -- Herbicides and   may use hazardous substances or produce hazard-
radius depends on the approved yield of the well.              repair any permeable areas;
                                                                                                               pesticides must not be used or stored within your                 ous waste. Inspect your facilities, record what is
    Know the extent of your protection area, and                                                                                                                                 being used, and be sure hazardous materials are
                                                         •     safeguard chemical feeders from inadvert-       Zone I. If you currently use such products, re-
be sure only activities that are both directly related                                                                                                                           properly stored and disposed of.
                                                               ent physical disturbances or tampering; and     evaluate your ground maintenance plan to deter-
to the PWS and nonthreatening to the water