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Groundwater

Issue Summary
U.S. EPA
Other Federal Agencies
Organizations/Non-Government Programs
Publications
Databases and Tools


Issue SummaryGroundwater

Ground water is an important resource in our environment. It replenishes our streams, rivers, habitats and also provides fresh water for irrigation, industry, and communities. For many Americans, ground water is also the primary source of drinking water. However, ground water is highly susceptible to contamination from septic tanks, agricultural runoff, highway de-icing, landfills, and pipe leaks. EPA protects ground water supply from pollutants in a number of ways. The Agency sets and enforces water standards, offers guidance to private well users, regulates the storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes which may infiltrate groundwater systems and offers resources and expertise to facilitate the rehabilitation of contaminated ground water sources.

EPA published the Ground Water Rule in the Federal Register on November 08, 2006. The purpose of the rule is to provide for increased protection against microbial pathogens in public water systems that use ground water sources. EPA is particularly concerned about ground water systems that are susceptible to fecal contamination since disease-causing pathogens may be found in fecal contamination.

The GWR will apply to public water systems that serve ground water. The rule also applies to any system that mixes surface and ground water if the ground water is added directly to the distribution system and provided to consumers without treatment.

Under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund EPA awards grants to states to establish revolving loan funds to assist public water systems with infrastructure improvements.  The program also allows states to reserve a portion of their grant to fund activities needed for source water protection and enhanced water systems management.

Also, see Drinking Water.

Aquifer

U.S. EPA

Ground Water and Drinking Water. OGWDW, along with EPA's ten regional drinking water programs, oversees implementation of the Safe Drinking Water Act

Ground Water Rule (GWR). The purpose of the GWR is to provide for increased protection against microbial pathogens in public water systems that use ground water sources.

Underground Injection Control Program. The UIC Program is responsible for regulating the construction, operation, permitting, and closure of injection wells that place fluids underground for storage or disposal.

Other Federal Agencies/Programs

USGS Ground Water Information Pages. The U.S. Geological Survey provides unbiased, timely, and relevant information and studies about ground-water resources of the Nation..

Organizations/Non-Government Programs

American Water Works Association. Founded in 1881, AWWA is the authoritative resource on safe water, providing knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.

Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) is an organization of the largest publicly owned drinking water systems in the United States. AMWA's membership serves more than 130 million Americans with drinking water from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Publications

Key EPA ground water guidance and selected other reports. Reports on ground water which are used frequently by Superfund remedial project managers.

Databases and Tools

Hydroweb. EPA groundwater modeling software.