Maryland's Source Water Protection Program

Graphic of Groundwater Protection Area

Beginning in 1999, the Maryland Department of the Environment  embarked on an ambitious program to assess the vulnerability to contamination of all public drinking water sources in Maryland. The plan uses three main tools for assessing drinking water sources: source water delineation, contaminant surveys, and susceptibility analysis. The information gained through these tools will be used to evaluate the susceptibility of a water supply source to contaminants that may affect the safety of the drinking water. With this information, local governments and water suppliers in partnership with MDE and other agencies can develop source water protection programs to improve the safety of each water supply in the state.

This effort encompasses both large and small water systems; more than 3,600 water systems have been assessed. Community water suppliers are required to provide a brief description of the assessment results to their customers in their yearly consumer confidence reports. This effort was initiated as a result of the 1996 Amendments of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  

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Water Resource Management

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