Source Water Plan Updates

Over the last 10 years, many community water systems participated in various source water protection programs offered by the PA Department of Environmental Protection. 

These programs provided free technical assistance for a rigorous delineation of multiple water sources, identification of potential sources of contamination, and the development of a professional plan to address water quality issues.  As these plans become older, many aspects of the plan become outdated or not applicable to current practices. If your plan was developed four or more years ago, new tools and technology can improve your plan and make a positive impact on source water protection.

SSM offers a menu of services that keeps your Source Water Protection Plan relevant to your system’s present needs.  By using technology advances such as improved Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capability and new publicly-available information, your plan can be on the cutting edge of protection strategies.

  • Enhanced groundwater and surface water computer modeling.  Is there a particular concern in your area?  SSM can use your plan delineation to model flow from a particular operation, or use a more rigorous computer model to track specific contaminants to your water sources.
  • Review and update potential sources of contamination (PSOC) inventory.  PSOCs can change quickly. Using updated databases, we will help you identify and analyze important changes in PSOCs that may affect your water sources. 
  • Resource extraction mapping for oil & gas wells and mining areas.  SSM can research unconventional well development in your area for the best protection of your groundwater sources.
  • Land-use analysis.  Current sources of information can help map existing non-point source activities in your protection zones, such as residential, agriculture, and industrial areas.
  • Review and add management options that update your system’s strategies for protecting your water sources.  Management strategies should be evaluated regularly to ensure they are effective in protecting your water sources.
  • Reinvigorate your steering committee.  SSM can assist with organizing and conducting strategy meetings that brings new ideas and partners together to improve your plan.
  • Contingency planning.  After the January 2014 contamination incident in the Elk River and other events , Disaster Planning is the new hot topic.  SSM staff can help develop partnerships with emergency responders and early warning networks through training and GIS assistance.
  • Update your plan components.  SSM can write an addendum to your existing plan, bringing all of your priorities and updates together in one, concise report.