Wellhead Protection Program: This program was created by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1986. It was a predecessor to the Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) created by the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996 and the Drinking Water Protection Program created in 2003. It was designed to protect ground water drinking water sources and the associated public water supply wells from contamination. Most of its elements were incorporated into the latter two programs with the exception of emergency contingency plans for public water supplies.
Source Water Assessment Program: The Source Water Assessment Program (1996) required all states to (1) delineate a protection area around all public water supply wells and intakes, (2) locate (by Global Positioning System or GPS) all wells and intakes in the state and significant potential sources of contamination within the protection areas, and (3) determine the susceptibility of each public water supply to contamination. The assessments were completed in 2003. The U.S. Congress wanted this information to be used to protect drinking water sources in communities throughout the United States.
Drinking Water Protection Program: Louisiana developed and implemented the Drinking Water Protection Program in 2003 based on the results of the SWAP. The program is also referred to as the Source Water Protection Program. LDEQ works with local citizens on a parish-wide basis to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will protect the environment surrounding the sources of drinking water taking into consideration the findings of the SWAP. Potential sources of contamination found through the SWAP are addressed. The BMPs consist primarily of local people doing public education and outreach using SWAP information under the guidance of LDEQ. Locals are also instrumental in getting an LDEQ model ordinance passed by local government. The ordinance contains land use control measures near public drinking water sources.