“Dealing with contamination may be 30 to 40 times more costly than preventing it in the first place.”
-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The federal Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended in 1989, requires each state to develop and implement wellhead protection programs. The State of Florida has the ultimate authority and responsibility for ground water protection. However, Florida Administrative Code, Section 62-521 defers the management of wellhead protection programs to local governments.
The basic regulatory framework of the City's Wellhead Protection Program (WHPP) was established in Title X, Chapter 366, Part 4 of the City Ordinance Code. The Program's primary focus is to reduce the risk of ground water contamination within the immediate vicinity of public drinking water supply wells. To accomplish this goal, a specific geographic area, known as a wellhead protection area (WHPA), has been defined around community and non-transient, non-community public potable water wells covered by the Wellhead Protection Ordinance. Within these areas a Pathway Focused Approach to Wellhead Protection is being implemented. The Pathway Focused Approach is primarily concerned with the mapping and inspection of Private Wells and existing contamination sites within WHPAs. The Wellhead Protection Program is designed to determine if a Risk of Contamination to the Floridan Aquifer exists due to the presence of a faulty private well in proximity to a groundwater contamination source.
Special provisions shall also be applied to all Floridan Aquifer wells within wellhead protection areas. Wells which penetrate the Floridan Aquifer (250-feet deep or greater) present a potential conduit for the introduction of contaminants directly into the aquifer. Therefore, Floridan Aquifer wells shall be required to have an approved backflow prevention device. Additionally these wells must be fitted with a 5-foot square concrete well pad.