An ordinance is a statute enacted by the city or parish government. A drinking water protection ordinance is an ordinance passed with the purpose of protecting the community's drinking water sources. Zoning and ordinances can provide a high level of drinking water protection by specifying and regulating the type of activity surrounding drinking water sources.
DEQ recommends that communities pass drinking water protection ordinances and consider the location of public water supplies in planning and zoning activities. DEQ can provide maps in electronic or hard copy format to planning and zoning boards that show where wells and drinking water intakes are located and the extent of the drinking water protection area around each well or intake.
We encourage committee members to attend police jury and town council meetings and suggest that these management options be considered at the parish and local levels. There are examples of model ordinances included in the Resource section. These examples can by used by local officials and their legal counsel to draft ordinances that are applicable to their community.
Drinking water protection ordinances are written to suit each individual community. Ordinances can be written to encourage business growth and drinking water protection. It is important to remember that in most ordinances, existing businesses are grand-fathered, so that the ordinance does not cause an existing business to move, close, or make modifications. By visiting local businesses to make them aware of the location of nearby water wells and surface water intakes, the businesses will learn how important it is to manage chemical substances properly.
Committee members can also encourage local citizens to write letters supporting drinking water protection ordinances and consideration of the location of water supplies in planning and zoning. Also included in the Resource section is an example letter that a citizen can send to his or her parish or local official requesting that drinking water protection ordinances be passed and that planning and zoning boards consider the location of water supplies during planning and zoning efforts.
Louisiana jurisdictions that have adopted a Drinking Water Protection Ordinance