A Comparative Analysis of Wellhead Protection: Virginia and Massachusetts
A Comparative Analysis of Wellhead Protection:
Virginia and Massachusetts
Kelley L. Raftery
Proactive drinking water programs assist communities in the long-term protection of their water supply. The 1986 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) seek to protect groundwater sources of public drinking water. 42 United States Code Section 300h-7 created the Wellhead Protection Program. The 1986 SDWA Amendments require all states to submit a Wellhead Protection Program for public groundwater drinking sources. The 1996 SDWA Amendments require all states to submit Source Water Assessment Plans for both groundwater and surface water sources. The 1986 and 1996 SDWA Amendments aim to protect public health by preventing contamination of drinking water sources.
This paper compares and contrasts the effectiveness of groundwater Wellhead Protection Programs (WHPP) in Virginia and Massachusetts. These states take different management approaches to protect public groundwater drinking sources. Virginia encourages local governments to participate voluntarily in wellhead protection activities. Massachusetts requires all municipal and private suppliers that provide public drinking water to adopt a WHPP. The relative success achieved by Massachusetts and Virginia was evaluated with two measures: percentage of wellhead protection programs implemented and the percentage of state reported drinking water quality violations.