Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
Ground water is used by the majority of the people in the
United States for drinking water purposes. Ground water is j
less costly to use as a drinking water source than surface j
water primarily because of land acquisition costs and j
treatment requirements for surface water supplies. Once !
ground water becomes contaminated, however, cleanup can
be very costly, and the probable causes of contamination can
be difficult to identify.
What Is Wellhead
The Wellhead Protection Program was established by Section
1428 of the Safe Drinking Water Amendments of 1986. The J
purpose of the program is to protect public ground-water
supplies from contamination and prevent the need for costly
treatment of wells to meet drinking water standards. The
program is based on the concept that the development and
application of land-use controls and other preventative
measures can protect ground water .
Under the Act, states are required to develop and submit
Wellhead Protection Programs to EPA. EPA then reviews th«
program for completeness and consistency. As of February,
1993, the following states and territories have received
approval of their programs from EPA.
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Unlike most EPA programs, which are regulatory in nature!
and address specific sources of contamination, the Wellhead I
Protection Program is designed to focus on the management
of the ground-water resource rather than on controlling a j
limited set of activities or contamination sources.
What Are The Elements Of
A Wellhead Protection
A comprehensive Wellhead Protection Program comprises
several distinct and essential elements:
1.	Summary and Purpose of the program should
be included to provide a discussion of how the WHP goal
in the Statute will be achieved;
2.	Designation of Responsibilities to develop and
implement the program among state agencies, local
governments, and public water suppliers;
3.	Delineation of Wellhead Protection Areas
(WHPAs) based on all reasonably available hydrogeologic
information on ground water flow, recharge and discharge,
and other information that the state deems necessary to
adequately determine the wellhead protection area;
4.	Identification of Sources of Contaminants
withtn each WHPA, including all man-made sources that
may have adverse effects on public health;
5.	Development of Management Approaches to
protect the ground-water well from contaminants, includ-
ing technical assistance, financial assistance, implementa-
tion of control measures, education, training, and demon-
stration projects;
6.	Contingency Planning for the provision of
alternate drinking water supplies in the event of well or
wellfield contamination;
7.	New Water Supply Source Protection from
contamination in the area of new public water supply
wells; and
8.	Provisions for Public Participation in the
development of a state's program.

What is A Wellhead
Protection Area?
Where Do I Go For More
The 1986 Amendments define a Wellhead Protection Area
as " the surrace and subsurface area surrounding a water well or
wellfield supplying a public water system, through which
contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach
such water well or wellfield." Defining these areas can be a
complex tecnnical task requiring the skills of geologists and
hvdrogeologists. Unlike surface watersheds that can be
easily determined from topography, WHPAs can vary in
size depending on their geology, pumping rates, and well
construction techniques. There are many methods by
which the technical information concerning the WHPA can
be expressed on maps for display purposes. These include
simple fixed radius techniques, analytical equations,
numerical modeling, and geologic mapping.
What Information is
Available on the Wellhead
Protection Program?
The Ground Water Protection Division of the EPA Office of
Ground Water and Drinking Water has prepared many
documents on the Wellhead Protection Program. Many of
these provide information on specific sources of contami-
nation to WHPAs, while others are program summary
•	Protecting Local Ground-Water Supplies Through Wellhead
Protection. 1991.
•	A Review of Sources of Ground Water Contamination from
Light [ndustru. 1990.
•	Guide to Ground Water Supply Contingency Planning for
Local and State Governments. 1990
•	Wellhead Protection Programs: Tools for Local Governments,
•	WHPA 2.0: A Modular Semi-Analytical Model for the
Delineation of Wellhead Protection Areas, Version 2.0. 1992.
•	VIRALT 2.0: A Modular Semi-Analytical Model for Simulat-
ing Viral Transport in Grouiul Water, Version 2.0. 1992.
•	Guidelines for Delineation of Wellhead Protection Areas. 1987.
•	"Why Do Wellhead Protection?" 1991.
An updated listing of WHP documents available from
EPA can be obtained by calling (800) 426-4791.
Additional information on Wellhead Protection Programs
in your area can be obtained by contacting your nearest
EPA Regional Office:
EPA Region I (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
JFK Federal Building, Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-3600
EPA Region II (NJ, NY, PR, VI)
Rm 842, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278
(212) 264-5635
EPA Region III (DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV)
841 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 597-2786
EPA Region IV (AL, FL, G A, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)
45 Couitland Street, NE. Atlanta, GA 30365
EPA Region V (IL, IN, MI, OH, MN, WD
230 S. Dearboum Street, Chicago, 1L 60604
(312) 886-1490
EPA Region VI (AR, LA, OK, NM, TX)
1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas TX 75202
(214) 655-6446
EPA Region VU (IA, KS, MO, NE)
726 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101
(913) 551-7033
EPA Region VIII (CO, MT, SD, UT, WY)
999 18th Street, Denver, CO 80202
(303) 293-1708
EPA Region DC (AS, AZ, CA, GU, HI, NV, CNMI)
75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-1831
EPA Region X (AK, ID, OR, WA)
1200 6th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water
Groundwater Protection Division (WH-550G)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460