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Abstract

The Wellhead Protection (WHP) program was authorized by the 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Arkansas Department of Health in July, 1986, was designated by Governor Clinton to be the lead agency in carrying out the WHP program. The program is designed to protect the ground-water resource tapped by public water-supply wells from contaminants which are injurious to the public health. It is the first formal attempt by the federal government in its environmental protection role to prevent contamination from taking place, in contrast to costly clean-up or remediation programs. Among its several requirements, the program includes: 1) delineating a wellhead protection area for each well or wellfield; 2) identifying all potential man-made sources of contaminants injurious to public health within each WHP area; and 3) developing outreach activities for increasing public awareness. Some major accomplishments since program start-up in 1991 include delineations for more than 200 wells and implementation of the WHP program for more than 50 public water systems. Since the actual implementation of the program, experience and investigation have shown that several methods of delineation are usable in Arkansas. Some methods are most pertinent to aquifers in the Coastal Plain and others to aquifers in the Interior Highlands.

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