Source Water in Idaho
Source water is the untreated ground water (aquifers and springs) and surface waters (rivers, streams, and lakes) used to supply drinking water for private, domestic wells and public water systems. Ground water and surface water used for drinking water supplies are often vulnerable to contamination from land use practices (such as farming) and potential contaminant sources (such as gas stations) within the vicinity of drinking water wells and intakes. However, steps can be taken to minimize this vulnerability and help keep public drinking water free from contaminants.
Source Water Assessments
A source water assessment provides information on the potential contaminant threats to public drinking water sources. In Idaho, ground water is the source of 95% of drinking water. As required by the Safe Drinking Water Act, assessments of all recognized public water sources in Idaho have been completed and summarized in reports that define the zone of contribution, identify the significant potential sources of contamination, and determine the likelihood that the water supply will become contaminated. Learn more and access the report on your water system.
Source Water Protection
Source water protection is a voluntary effort a community can implement to help prevent contamination of the source water that supplies its public water system. The effort may involve creating a source water (or drinking water) protection plan and implementing regulatory and/or non-regulatory management practices. Learn more.
Source Water Protection Activity Guide
The Source Water Protection Activity Guide is a tool for identifying potential sources and types of contamination that could threaten drinking water sources. It provides possible protection activities that public water systems, local governments, businesses, and individuals can implement to better protect source water from contamination. Learn more.
Source Water Protection Plan Template — coming soon!
Communities can develop a written plan that outlines the strategies the local community plans to implement to protect drinking water sources. Strategies or management tools can apply to existing or future potential contaminant sources and can be either regulatory or nonregulatory. A community can gain official recognition for its source water protection plan with state certification through DEQ. The certification covers a five-year period, after which recertification may be pursued. DEQ is developing an online template to help public water systems and communities develop a certified source water protection plan.
Source Water Protection Grants
Source Water Protection Grants provide funding for projects to protect sources of public drinking water. Projects are expected to provide long-term benefits to drinking water quality, quantity, awareness, and/or security. Learn more.