Overview of the Source Water Protection Program WV Code 16-1-9
Following the 2014 Elk River spill, the Legislature revised portions of Article 1 of Chapter 16 (Public Health) of the West Virginia Code to address regulation of public water systems, source water protection, grants for wellhead and source water protection. The code became effective on June 6, 2014.
The Bureau for Public Health (BPH) submitted rule revisions for Legislative Rule 64CSR3 Public Water Systems with respect to source water protection planning enacted in WV Code 16-1-9. This includes a staggered schedule by hydrologic regions for the submission of source water protection plans by public water utilities. See SWPP Region submittal deadlines.
In general, the Source Water Assessment Programs for West Virginia consists of three major elements:
- Delineation of Source Water Protection Areas (SWPA) - Area that contributes ground water or surface water to a public water supply system.
- Identification of potential significant sources of contamination (PSSC) - Locating the facilities or land uses within that area that may threaten the water quality.
- Susceptibility analysis - The susceptibility of the intake of the systems to contamination.
Aboveground Storage Tank AST or "tank"
A device made to contain an accumulation of more than 1,320 gallons of fluid that is liquid at standard temperature and pressure, which is constructed primarily of materials, including wood, concrete, steel, plastic or fiberglass reinforced plastic, which provide structural support, more than ninety (90) percent capacity of which is above the surface of the ground. The term includes stationary devices which are permanently affixed, and mobile devices which remain in one location on a continuous basis for sixty (60) or more days, and includes all ancillary aboveground pipes and dispensing systems up to the first point of isolation and all ancillary underground pipes and dispensing systems connected to the aboveground containers to the first point of isolation. WV DEP AST Program
AWIA (America's Water Infrastructure Act)
Section 2013 requires community (drinking) water systems serving more than 3,300 people to develop or update risk assessments and emergency response plans (ERPs). The law gives instructions and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to EPA completion of the risk assessment and ERP. Information on AWIA from EPA.
Community Water System
A public water system that supplies water to the same population year-round.
The integrated delineation of the ground water contribution area and the surface water contribution area for a public water system.
GWUDI (Ground Water Under Direct Influence)
The groundwater source is located close enough to nearby surface water, such as a river or lake, to receive direct surface water recharge. Since a portion of the groundwater source’s recharge is from surface water, the groundwater source is considered at risk of contamination from pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, which are not normally found in true groundwaters. More GWUDI Information
Potential Source of Significant Contamination (PSSC)
A facility or activity that stores, uses or produces substances or compounds with potential for significant contaminating impact if released into the source water of a public water supply.
Public Surface Water-Influenced Groundwater Supply Source (SWIG)
A source of water supply for a public water system which is directly drawn from an underground well, underground river or stream, underground reservoir or underground mine, and the quantity and quality of the water in that underground supply source is heavily influenced, directly or indirectly, by the quantity and quality of surface water in the immediate area.
Public Surface Water Supply Source
A primary source of water supply for a public water system which is directly drawn from rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, impoundments or other primary sources of water supplies which are found on the surface of the state.
Public Water Utility
A public water system which is regulated by the West Virginia Public Service Commission pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 24 of this code.
A watershed is an area of land from which surface water drains into a common outlet, such as a river, lake, or wetland.
Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA)
The surface and subsurface area surrounding a water well or wellfield, supplying a public water system, through which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach such water well or wellfield.
Zone of Critical Concern (ZCC)
The area for a public surface water supply that is comprised of a corridor along streams within a watershed that warrants more detailed scrutiny due to its proximity to the surface water intake and the intake's susceptibility to potential contaminants within that corridor. It is determined using a mathematical model that accounts for stream flows, gradient and area topography. The length is based on a five-hour time-of-travel of water in the streams to the water intake, plus an additional one-fourth mile below the water intake. The width is one thousand feet measured horizontally from each bank of the principal stream and five hundred feet measured horizontally from each bank of the tributaries draining into the principal stream.
Zone of Peripheral Concern (ZPC)
ZPC for a public surface water supply source and for a public surface water influenced groundwater supply source is a corridor along streams within a watershed that warrants scrutiny due to its proximity to the surface water intake and the intake’s susceptibility to potential contaminants within that corridor. The ZPC is determined using a mathematical model that accounts for stream flows, gradient and area topography. The length is based on an additional five-hour time-of-travel of water in the streams beyond the perimeter of the ZCC, which creates a protection zone of ten (10) hours above the water intake. The width is one thousand (1,000) feet measured horizontally from each bank of the principal stream and five hundred (500) feet measured horizontally from each bank of the tributaries draining into the principal stream.
Top Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the new requirements?
A: A new section regulating Source Water Protection Plans has been added, under Article 1 of Chapter 16 (Public Health) of the West Virginia Code to address regulation of public water systems, source water protection, grants for wellhead and source water protection and long-term medical monitoring which requires public water utilities (defined as a public water system regulated by the state Public Service Commission pursuant to Chapter 24 of the state code) to submit source water protection plans to the Bureau for Public Health (BPH) every three years by region. Requirements for source water protection plans are extensive and include (1) a contingency plan, (2) a management plan, (3) a communication plan, (4) a list of potential sources of significant contamination (provided by the DEP, BPH, and Home Land Security), (5) an analysis of whether the utilities' water systems can shut intakes or otherwise have the capability for alternate water sources in the event of an emergency, and (6) an evaluation of the feasibility of implementing an early warning monitoring system.
Q: What SWPP region is my PWS in and when is it due?
A: Public Water Systems listed alphabetically, Map of Source Water Protection Regions
Q: What if I fail to submit a source water protection plan on time?
A: Civil and criminal penalties for violations of this article have been increased. Any individual or entity who violates the provisions of this rule or any orders issued pursuant to this rule is liable for a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000. Each day's violation constitutes a separate offense and /or any individual or entity who commits a willful violation of any provision of this rule or orders issued pursuant to this rule shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 and each day's violation shall be grounds for a separate penalty.
Q: Do I need to know the identity of, and distance to the nearest groundwater or surface water public intake from my AST? If so, where do I obtain this information?
A: You will be required to provide the geographical coordinates (latitude/longitude) of your tank to the DEP when registering your tank. When DEP provides the tank registration number to the owner, the identity of and distance to the nearest groundwater or surface water public intake from your tank will be included in the correspondence. DEP AST Program
Source Water Protection Plan Links
Public Water Systems, 64CSR3, Rule
Information on Watershed Associations with Watershed Group Contacts
Local Health Department Offices
Surface Water Influence Groundwater Information:
WVU Study: The Hydrogeologic Basis for Designation of Surface Water Induced Groundwater (2017)
WVU Study: Hydraulic and Thermal Response to Intermittent Pumping in Unconfined Alluvial Aquifers Along a Regulated Stream (2017)
USGS Study: Assessment of hydrogeologic terrains, well-construction characteristics, groundwater hydraulics, and water-quality and microbial data for determination of surface-water-influenced groundwater supplies in West Virginia; Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5048
Please email comments or questions concerning Source Water Protection to: SWAP