Wellhead Protection Program
The Wellhead Protection Program is a pollution prevention and management program used to protect underground based sources of drinking water. The objective of Carmel’s Wellhead Protection Program (WHP) is to manage or control potential sources of contamination though the City of Carmel with a particular focus on the eastern part of Carmel. The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1986, established a program for the States to delineate and manage Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPAs) for protection of ground water supplies from contamination. A Wellhead Protection Area is defined as the surface and subsurface area surrounding a public water supply well, through which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach the well.
Hoosier Water Guardian Award
The City of Carmel Utilities earned the Hoosier Water Guardian Award with Distinction from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The Hoosier Water Guardian award is given to municipalities for implementing effective management strategies to protect their community’s drinking water and for going above and beyond the state’s requirements for wellhead protection. Carmel received the award at a “With Distinction” level by taking the initiative to implement their wellhead protection plans in an exemplary way.
Groundwater Guardian Award
The City of Carmel Utilities earned the Groundwater Guardian Award from the Groundwater Foundation in 2010, 2011, 2012. This achievement was to honor the commitment the City of Carmel has to protecting it’s local groundwater sources.
What are the potential threats to groundwater?
Sources of contaminates might be in your neighborhood or many miles away. Studies have determined how fast and in what direction groundwater flows. Program planners have mapped out the area which contributes recharge water (and, therefore, any contaminants) to the Carmel wells.
Potential sources of concern for source water include underground and above ground storage tanks, landfills, septic systems, storm water runoff and pesticide and herbicide application. Homeowners can contribute to ground water contamination as well, by improperly disposing of household chemicals.
What are some sources of groundwater contamination?
Hundreds of types of potential sources of contamination have been identified.
Groundwater problems can originate on the land surface or subsurface through:
- chemical storage;
- road salt usage and storage;
- use and spillage of fertilizers and accidental spills;
- septic tanks and drainfields;
- leakage from underground storage tanks;
- leakage from underground pipelines and sewers;
- waste disposal in excavations;
- sumps and dry wells;
- improperly filled and sealed wells;
- drainage wells;
- improperly constructed private wells.
These sources do not always threaten groundwater supplies. However, unless managed properly, they usually have the potential to do so.
The areas surrounding water wells are particularly vulnerable to these sources of contamination, since contaminants discharged in the recharge area of a pumping well may be drawn toward that well.
What can I do to protect our drinking water supply?
- Use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers sparingly, or not at all.
- Don’t pour household chemicals down the drain or on the ground.
- Take unused household chemicals and other potential contaminants to the Carmel Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Site.
- Pick up after your pets and dispose of their waste in the trash.
- If you are on a septic system, have it periodically inspected.