Source Water Assessment and Wellhead Protection Program

Wellhead Protection Program

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WVBPH) was designated by the Governor as the lead agency responsible for the Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP). West Virginia WHPP was approved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992.

The key to West Virginia's WHPP is the use of existing regulations affecting ground water. The State has several programs currently in place to protect ground water from potential sources of contamination. Some of the programs are National Pollution Discharge elimination System (NPDES), Underground Injection Control (UIC), Underground Storage Tank (UST), Resource Conservation and Reclamation Act (RCRA), Solid Waste Management and the Non-Point Source Program.

In addition, in June 1991, the State of West Virginia enacted House Bill 2377, also known as the "Ground-Water Protection Act," to protect the quality of the State ground water. All sources of contamination not previously covered by regulations, are addressed by the Ground-Water Protection Act.

Wellhead Protection consists of three major steps:

  • Delineating a Wellhead Area - Area from which water could flow to the source within a five-year time of travel. Area is determined using groundwater models, available technical data and geological setting.
  • The potential contaminant source inventory - Survey of past and present activities performed on all properties within the WHPA to identify potential sources of contamination.
  • Management and Contingency Planning - The development and implementation of both long and short-term drinking water supply replacements strategies as well as plans to reduce or eliminate potential threats.

The West Virginia WHPP provides various services to the communities. These includes:

  • Delineation of the Wellhead Area of review the wellhead protection plans.
  • A review and approval process for the Wellhead Protection Area.
  • Track the progress at each community in the Wellhead Protection planning.
  • Technical support for the management and contingency phases.

The new 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act require each state to develop a plan to assess the source water for all public water supply systems - both surface and groundwater. West Virginia Bureau for Public Health is currently developing a Source Water Assessment Program that will identify: 1. Delineate a source area for ground and surface water systems, 2. Identify the potential contaminants sources within the source area, 3. Determine each public water system's susceptibility to contamination.

Please forward comments or questions concerning Source Water Protection and WV Code 16-1-9A to: SWAP

Bureau For Public Health
Office of Environmental Health Services
Environmental Engineering Division
Source Water Protection Program
350 Capitol Street, Room 313
Charleston, WV 25301-3713
Phone: 304-356-4298