Source water assessment and protection (SWAP) is a non-regulatory state program administered by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The program started as the Wellhead Protection Program, which was part of the 1986 amendments to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. These amendments required states to administer a source water protection program for their systems using ground water. In 1922 Ohio’s Wellhead Protection Program was approved by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. The wellhead protection program provided guidance and technical assistance to public water systems, who were encouraged to complete assessments and protection plans using their own resources. Ohio EPA staff reviewed the assessments and formally endorsed them, when complete.
IN 1996, the Safe Drinking Water Act was amended again. Section 1453 was added, providing states with the necessary federal funding to complete source water assessments for their public water systems. At that time, the program was extended to include surface water systems and was renamed “Source Water Protection.” It was the intent of Congress that public water systems use the information in their source water assessment to develop a drinking water source protection plan. The background information presented here includes from the Archbold source water assessment report completed by the Ohio EPA in 2004, but expands on it considerably, using data collected by Archbold’s public water system staff and the Western Lake Erie Basin Partnership.
Why should a community have a source water protection plan? Water is a vital part of all facets of our communities. It is essential to agriculture, to washing, to cooling for industry and power stations, to moving wastewater away from populated areas and above all, to drinking. In addition to being a basic necessity of life, clean affordable water can be an important economic driver. Many manufacturing plants use significant amounts of water and can even decide plant locations based on availability of quality water. Clean water, provided at a reasonable cost, can attract new business and residents which help fuel economic growth and prosperity.
With the help of the Ohio EPA Archbold has an endorsed Source Water Protection Plan. To view the Source Water Protection Plan, Source Water Assessment and educational information click the links below.