What can you and your community do to protect your
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is
undertaking a baseline program to assess any threats to drinking
water supplies. While the entire baseline study is scheduled for
completion in 2004, the Department will post preliminary results
on the SWAPP website, as they are available.
Since initial evaluation is based on existing databases, DEP can
only make preliminary and tentative evaluations. Changes that
are reported can help update the databases and provide timely
information. Community members can help by reviewing the
information and reporting any discrepancies that are identified.
Ways to Protect Our Drinking Water
By taking some simple steps in your home or community, you can
play a part in protecting our drinking water sources. Make it a
point of duty to:
Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Ground
Water and Drinking Water
- Dispose of household and other chemicals properly. That is, don't pour
chemicals on the ground or down the sink drain, toilet or storm drain.
- Take used motor oil to the recycling center.
- Use only recommended amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Have your unused wells properly closed.
- Pump and inspect your septic tank regularly.
- Plant vegetation on bare spots of soil, particularly on slopes. This will
prevent erosion and excessive runoff of sediments into nearby water bodies.
- Become involved in drinking water protection activities in your community.
Further Community Protection:
There are a wide array of different source water protection
methods to prevent contamination of their drinking water
supplies. One option involves regulations, such as prohibiting
or restricting land uses that may release contaminants in
critical source water areas. Along with regulations, DEP
encourages communities to hold local events and distribute
information to educate and encourage citizens and businesses to
recycle used oil, limit their use of pesticides, participate in
watershed cleanup activities and other prevention activities.
Another aspect of a source water protection program can be the
purchase of land or creation of conservation easements to serve
as a protection zone near the drinking water source. For an
effective protection program, communities should consider using
a variety of prevention measures.
Businesses Can Help Protect Drinking Water
The SWAPP assessments will provide essential information to help
communities make better decisions on how to protect drinking
water. Check to see if your business is located in a drinking
water protection area and whether it is a potential source of
pollution. If so, your local water supplier will help you to be
sure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect
drinking water. Here are some tips that businesses can use to
help protect the water supply:
Multiple Barrier Approach
- Train employees to reduce the use of toxic chemicals.
- Use the least hazardous chemicals available.
- Inspect vehicles regularly. Watch for leaks.
- Use as few lawn chemicals as possible.
- Pump your septic system regularly.
- Don't store chemicals on grass, use concrete or another impervious
- Cover chemical containers stored outside.
- Keep storage containers (both underground and above ground) in good
- Don't discharge harmful substances or waste products into floor drains
or sinks that lead onto or into the ground.
DEP has created four major barriers to protect our source water from