Protecting Drinking Water with SSAs
Did you know that 90% of people who live in the Mid-Atlantic Region drink water that comes from public systems regulated by EPA and the States? Besides regulating, how else is EPA protecting your drinking water? One way is with the Sole Source Aquifer program. What exactly is this program? The Sole Source Aquifer program helps to protect ground water that serves as the primary drinking water source for a community. This can be done when the ground water supplies at least 50% of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer with no alternative sources that could feasibly supply all who depend on it. Once a Sole Source Aquifer is designated, projects receiving federal funding in these areas are subject to EPA review to ensure that they are deisgned with minimal threat to the ground water. EPA regional offices review comprehensive applications which provide extensive data about the aquifer to designate such sources as a Sole Source Aquifer.
Currently there are six designated Sole Source Aquifers in the Mid-Atlantic Region. They are:
- Columbia and Yorktown-Eastover Multiaquifer (Virginia)
- Maryland Piedmont Aquifer (Maryland)
- New Jersey Coastal Plain Aquifer (Pennsylvania and New Jersey)
- Poolesville Area Aquifer (Maryland)
- Prospect Hill Aquifer (Maryland)
- Seven Valleys Aquifer (Pennsylvania)
Just because a drinking source in your community has not been designated as a Sole Source Aquifer does not mean that it shouldn’t be. In many cases, valuable and sensitive aquifers have not been designated simply because nobody has petitioned EPA for such status.
Interested in applying to designate a Sole Source Aquifer in your community? View EPA’s Sole Source Aquifer designation petitioner guidance. What are your thoughts on such a program? This is only one way EPA is continuing to maintain safe drinking water. Check out EPA’s web site to learn about more about ways EPA is protecting drinking water here in the Mid-Atlantic.
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