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Source Water Protection (SWP) For Targeted Community Water Supplies

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The DNR SWP Program is a voluntary program and is divided into two separate programs in order to provide better customer service to our Iowa Community Water Supplies (CWS).

The SWP Program for Targeted CWS:  
  • Is housed in the Contaminated Sites Section of the Land Quality Bureau. The SWP Program for Targeted CWS works with communities who are in need of addressing an existing contaminant problem in their drinking water supply.  The SWP Program for Targeted CWS conducts a groundwater (gw) site investigation to assist the SWP community planning team in planning and practice implementation in order to decrease the contaminant risk to the water supply.  The gw site investigation is conducted by the Contaminated Sites section technical assistance staff who work with both point source and non-point source concerns.
  • DNR’s Targeted Source Water Protection program investigates ( Video) how contaminant levels of concern get into a community’s shallow alluvial water supply and provides support to help the community implement a source water protection project.

DNR Contact for Targeted Community Water Supplies:
Rebecca Ohrtman

The SWP Program for Non-targeted CWS:  
  • Is housed in the Iowa Geological and Water Survey.  The SWP Program for Non-Targeted CWS provides initial Source Water Assessments for all CWS in Iowa.  The Non-Targeted Program also works with communities that decide to proactively protect their drinking water source, either independently or with the assistance of a contractor.  For more information, visit the Iowa Geological and Water Survey website.

DNR Contract for Non-Targeted Community Water Supplies:
Chad Fields

What is source water? 

Source water is a lake, stream, river or aquifer where drinking water is obtained.

What is Source Water Protection?
Source Water Protection (SWP) is the act of preventing contaminants from entering public drinking water sources. SWP includes both ground water (wellhead) protection and surface water protection.

Steps to SWP

  1. Organize a SWP Community Planning Team
  2. Identify high nitrate wells*
  3. Conduct groundwater site investigation
  4. Identify critical area
  5. Identify BMP's
  6. Identify resources
  7. Implement BMP's

* identify individual wells currently contaminated

What qualifies a Community Water Supply as a “Targeted” CWS?

  • Willing Community
  • Identified contaminant trending upward
  • Nitrates above 5 mg/L and trending upward
  • Shallow alluvial wells that are highly susceptible
  • Willing stakeholders

Who is eligible?

ALL municipalities in Iowa are eligible for the USDA CRP-Well Head Protection program.

 CRP: Protecting Your Community's Drinking Water

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* Partnered with Iowa Dept of Public Health and USDA