The Wellhead Protection Program was created by the 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The goal of the Wellhead Protection Program is to protect our ground water sources from contamination.
The Memphis Sands Aquifer underlies approximately 7,400 square miles in Western Tennessee ranging from 0 to 900 feet in thickness. At about 350 feet below the surface, the City of Covington Water Treatment Facility's four production wells tap into this clean abundant source of drinking water. The focus of the Covington Wellhead Protection Program is to identify, document, and eliminate possible contaminants within Covington's well water recharge area and provide an alternative source contingency plan in the event of groundwater contamination. A capture zone for each well (called the wellhead protection area) is designated and a plan is developed and implemented for managing potential contamination sources within the wellhead protection area.
If an aquifer becomes contaminated, it is very expensive to clean up, if you can clean it up at all. One gallon of gasoline has the potential to contaminate approximately one million gallons of water. What does this mean for our future? Our waste disposal methods and common handling practices of chemicals determines how we will live tomorrow. The efforts that we make now to protect our water source will ensure the quality of life for our community in the future.