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Geology and Water
Data Resources

Wellhead Protection

Red ball iconWellhead Protection


Wellhead protection is the practice of managing an area around a wellhead (a wellhead protection area) to prevent contaminants released at the surface from reaching the water supply. Typically, this is achieved by restricting the activities which may occur within the wellhead protection area. Wellhead protection areas and practices are determined using geologic and hydrogeologic characteristics of the water supply, well construction, and locations of potential contaminant sources in relation to the wellhead. The large expense of developing alternate water supplies or cleaning up spills make wellhead protection plans desirable and cost-effective for public water supplies.

The Geological Survey Bureau is currently engaged in a grant project with the U.S. EPA designed to develop sources of data needed for developing wellhead protection plans and delineating wellhead protection areas. Records for public water supply wells and permitted water withdrawal wells are being gathered and correlated with geologic records at the Geological Survey Bureau. Information about regulated potential contaminant sources data will be compiled as well. By late 1995 documents describing the information available for developing wellhead protection plans are expected to be available. For further information contact Mary Howes (mary.howes@dnr.iowa.gov) at (319)335-1575.