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Sourcewater Protection

Sourcewater Protection

The New Jersey Water Association assists rural and small communities served by public water systems to reduce and/or eliminate potential risks to drinking water sources.

Through the development of Source Water Protection Plans, no-cost assistance is provided to implement contamination prevention measures as prevention is the most cost-effective approach to protecting drinking water sources. Plans benefit both water customers and municipalities alike. Source Water Protection Plans are customized to suit the unique needs of each drinking water supply. Implementation is completely voluntary and proceeds at a pace indicative of the community.

Source Water Protection Plans can include non-regulatory strategies such as land conservation and public education to reduce contamination threats.

Where does your drinking water come from? 

At the New Jersey Water Association, we are happy to offer our Groundwater Model as a tool for environmental education at community events, schools, and to groups seeking knowledge about water protection and conservation. Under the Farm Service Agency Source Water Protection Program, we will deliver, set-up, and operate the model FREE OF CHARGE!

The Groundwater Model can be used to explain the geological principles that dictate the water cycle and the water sources millions of people use daily to get potable water. The Groundwater Model shows how wells, aquifers, surface water sources, and potential sources of contamination are all connected. The presentation can be modified to accommodate any age group, from preschool to adults!
Contact Source Water Protection Specialist Mitchell Mickley at (609)-661-5026 or for more information.

Links to Resources: 


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has identified two prominent regions of the state where water supplies historically had been depleted and are sensitive to additional pumping and wellhead development. For additional information on these regions and their subsequent aquifers click here for Appendix B of the NJ Water Supply Master Plan 2017-2022

NJ Water Supply Plan Critical Areas 2017-2022 (PDF) 

Storm Water Management

The New Jersey Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual was most recently updated in March of 2021. The manual has been updated to include amendments to the stormwater rules which mandate the increased usage and maintenance of green infrastructure projects among other things. 

For all of the rules, regulations, and guidance for all things stormwater management in NJ, use this link:     

For additional guidance from the EPA, use this link:

For additional information, an extensive list of implanted examples, and training refer to the Rutgers Water Resources Program here:

Is Your Community a candidate for Sourcewater Protection?

  • Is there a wellhead, source water, or aquifer ordinance in place? If yes has it ever been invoked to avoid potential contamination?
  • Does the water system own at least 100-200 ft radius around the well or intake? Does the system or township have the ability or intention of purchasing additional land?
  • Does the township have the power of site plan review?
  • Is there an environmental outreach/education program for school children in the township?
  • Is there an active and convenient hazardous waste drop-off program for residents?

Sourcewater Technical Assistance

Mitchell Mickley


Do Water Utility Tours Stimulate Water Protection Efforts? 

Read Article

Making A Case For Residential Grassroots Green Infrastructure. 

For the more advanced and ambitious among us, rain gardens are an even better option to protect the environment.  Capturing even more water than a traditional 55- gallon rain barrel. A rain garden would decrease the flooding and erosion of your local waterways even better. 

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