Source Water Protection

Help protect your water sources with a Source Water Protection Plan! Below you will find a description of the Source Water Protection Program as well as some resources and a map of areas susceptible to groundwater contamination in Virginia. We currently have one Source Water Technician who goes around the state helping systems come up with a protection plan.  If after reviewing this information you would like to get started on a Source Water Protection plan, or just have some questions, please call Scott McNalley at (908) 642-1579 or email at

The Rural Water Grassroots Source Water Protection initiative is hard at work in 48 states across the U.S.  The source water program encourages local water and waste water systems and to participate more aggressively in the development and implementation of local and regional source water protection plans. Land use decisions and zoning enforcement are done at the local government level.

The source water concept involves the use of Rural Water source specialist who are well versed in the steps necessary to design and implement a watershed protection program but who also have the confidence and support of local government officials. They work in priority watersheds in every state.

This type of initiative ensures an effective management effort that is bottom-up, driven by local citizen’s concerns and guided by sound data and information. When local communities take responsibility for protecting their environment/natural resources, “they do it more effectively and economically than a top-down regulatory approach.” This was the conclusion of the National Research Council’s report, “New Strategies for America’s Watersheds”.

“Watershed management has been a top-down process, but this approach has led to numerous barriers to effective citizen involvement and use of locally developed knowledge. A truly effective watershed management effort is most likely to be a bottom up process, driven largely by citizen concerns about local problems guided by sound data and information state and local governments to assume substantial rights and responsibilities for watershed management.”

Each participating state is provided a source water protection specialist to assist local governments in implementing source water plans within priority watersheds. Specialists bring multi-jurisdictional watershed entities together for a common goal in prevention of contamination of drinking water supplies. Each watershed plan includes the organization of county & watershed-wide interests to initiate (and document) specific land use activities among local governments, business, industry, agriculture, the general public, etc. This assistance is delivered through state rural water associations with input from water system personnel and state regulatory agencies.

Source: Resources:  Citizens Guide to Groundwater Protection Septic System Guide Used Motor Oil Guide Hazardous Household Chemicals Guide Conserve Water! Groundwater Quality DEQ Groundwater Page USGS Groundwater Page EPA Source Water Protection USDA Source Water Protection VDH Office of Drinking Water DCR Soil and Water Conservation