Source Water Assessment Program

Pollution prevention is recognized as the most effective approach for ensuring a reliable, long- term, and safe supply of public drinking water at a reasonable cost to consumers. The Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 require that all states establish Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAPs), and submit a plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by February 6, 1999 detailing how they will: delineate source water protection areas, inventory significant contaminants in these areas, and determine the susceptibility of each public water supply to contamination.

Source water assessments will allow the state to systematically address issues of potential contamination of public water supplies using existing data from established environmental programs. The SWAP plan is intended to act as a "lens" through which the state can assess priorities in other programs while focusing on the protection of drinking water as a primary goal in water quality management.