Source Water Protection Grant Guidelines
Section 1452 of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act provides funds for source water assessment and protection. These funds are a potential source of support for drinking water protection projects in Idaho. Maximum funding requested for a project should not exceed $10,000. Applicant and project eligibility and special conditions of these grant funds are described below.
Eligible applicants include the following:
- Idaho public water systems
- Local government units and subunits
- Special districts (e.g., water districts or conservation districts)
- Nonprofit organizations
- Educational institutions
Owners of privately owned, for-profit public water systems where drinking water is not the main function of their business are not eligible for funding.
All applicants must have and maintain general liability insurance covering bodily injury and property damage. Insurance must include personal injury liability, blanket contractual liability coverage for the indemnity under the grant project, and products/completed operations liability. If the applicant does not have liability insurance, they may be required to obtain coverage before receiving grant funding and keep the coverage active for the duration of the grant contract.
Projects associated with source water protection measures are eligible for funding. Source water is defined as “any aquifer, surface water body, or watercourse from which water is taken either periodically or continuously by a public water system for drinking or food processing purposes” (Idaho Source Water Assessment Plan, p. 36).
Eligible activities include those that lead to reducing the risk of contamination of the drinking water source. Projects must contribute to improved protection of one or more public water supply sources. Projects will be expected to provide long-term benefits to source water quality.
Projects with measures to reduce the threat of contaminants that could impact a specific drinking water source or regional drinking water supply are eligible for funding:
- Contaminant source identification (research)
- Contaminant pathway removal (closure of abandoned or unused wells)
- Contaminant removal (hazardous waste collection, pollution prevention, and waste reduction)
- Contaminant management (implementation of best management practices [BMPs], structures to divert contaminated runoff from the source)
- Restoration and/or conservation of the ecological function of source water protection areas
- Education and information sharing (brochures, workshops, and media campaigns)
- Security measures to protect the source
Grants can be used to implement security measures as long as the project protects the source area. Projects that protect the physical extraction structure (e.g., well, spring, or intake structures) are eligible for funding:
- Fencing around wells or springs. The fencing can include other buildings or tanks, as long as the fenced-in area is part of the source area.
- Gates for well and intake access roads and access control for those areas.
- Alarms, signs, cameras, locks, and lights for sources if they are clearly related to protecting the source water area.
Grant funds are intended to target activities that go beyond normal operation and maintenance standards and existing system infrastructure deficiencies. Funds are available for projects that concentrate on protecting a specific community public water supply system or aquifer/watershed wide-protection effort.