The quality of our region's sources of drinking water--underground aquifers, lakes, streams, rivers, and reservoirs--has long been a priority at NEIWPCC. Certainly, drinking water can be treated before consumption, but the best strategy, from both an economic and environmental standpoint, is to prevent contamination at the source itself. That's always been a difficult task, and in our region, protecting water flowing across interstate boundaries presents a particular challenge due to local and state regulations.
Our Groundwater and Source Water Protection Workgroup, comprised of state and EPA staff, meets three times a year. These meetings provide a unique opportunity for the states to compare strategies and approaches and provide feedback to EPA on their initiatives. This collaboration helps forge a strong and productive working relationship between the states in our region as well as between the states and EPA.
Some of the main topics discussed in recent meetings and workshops have been aboveground storage tanks, groundwater impacts from stormwater infiltration, and road salt issues. Future discussions and trainings on these topics will provide the foundation for implementing improved source water protection measures throughout the region.
Please see the links below for more information on special resources and projects completed under this program. For more information, contact Monica Kacprzyk, the coordinator of our Ground Water and Source Water Protection Workgroup.
Source Water Protection for Municipalities
For tools you can use to take action in your community to protect drinking water sources in your water supply area, your watershed area, your community, and your backyard, please read the NEIWPCC booklet: Water Today…Water Tomorrow?: Protecting Drinking Water Sources in Your Community. This source water protection call-to-action was developed in 2004 and focuses on five key areas of vulnerability identified in New England state Source Water Assessments—inadequate local regulations and ordinances, underground storage tanks, onsite sewage disposal systems, hazardous materials storage, and stormwater runoff. It provides municipal officials with tools they can use to take action in their communities to protect drinking water sources, and it includes several short case examples from states and communities.
Northeast Regional Geothermal Workshop
NEIWPCC held a Northeast Regional Geothermal Workshop at the EPA New England Regional Laboratory in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts on March 29, 2011. The workshop included discussions and case studies which focused on the state of the geothermal industry, environmental and water resource protection concerns, design standards and recommendations, and existing and future regulations for geothermal systems. Attendees included state and federal staff from the region’s environmental and health agencies, as well as several private industry representatives that deal with installation, design, approvals, regulations, etc., of geothermal systems. Visit the workshop website for more information.