The Hub of Southwest Virginia

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The 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act call for communities to establish wellhead protection programs (WHPPs) to protect their groundwater supplies. Each program or plan is required to delineate the wellhead protection area (WHPA) according to State guidelines. This Part III is solely concerned with the delineation of the WHPA for the Wythe County which includes the following wells: (to be identified).

A WHPA is defined as the surface trace of the area from which a well draws its ground water supply. Other names for a WHPA are Zone of Contribution or Recharge Area. A WHPA can be divided into smaller divisions based on the distance a particle of water travels in a certain period of time. Typical divisions utilized are one, five and ten year time of travel (TOT).

As part of this effort, the County has identified the land area that requires the greatest protection, the land mass contributing water to the County wells. Studies have determined how fast and in what direction groundwater flows. Consultants have mapped out the area which contributes recharge water (and, therefore, any contaminants) to the County wells.

An advisory committee made up of local citizens, planning officials, and County staff is responsible for developing the best management strategies to protect the County's water supplies. These strategies include groundwater protection considerations in site plan and building codes; public education through brochures and other materials; and encouraging pollution prevention through sound handling of hazardous chemicals and the use of alternative, non-hazardous materials in households and businesses.

The Water Cycle

Groundwater is the water underneath the earth's surface that flows freely and can be pumped with wells. Groundwater is part of the earth's water cycle, originating from rainfall percolating through soil. Groundwater discharges to lakes and streams, and eventually evaporates to begin the water cycle once again.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 09:39
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