Indiana’s Wellhead Protection Rule requires all community public water systems using groundwater as their source to develop plans to protect groundwater. The wellhead protection plans exceed what is required by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Developing a wellhead protection plan under the Wellhead Protection Program entails two phases: a planning phase and an implementation phase.
- Indiana has approximately 780 groundwater community water systems implementing wellhead protection plans with various stages of the process completed and approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
- Following the approval of the implementation phase, updates must be sent to IDEM every five years for review and approval.
Sample Wellhead Protection Area Delineation: South Bend
During the planning phase, wellhead protection areas are defined based on local hydrogeology. This map shows an overview of wellhead protection areas in South Bend, IN. The yellow areas are considered the most vulnerable as they fall within the one-year "time of travel" boundary, while the blue areas show the five-year "time of travel" boundaries. These boundaries indicate the amount of time it will take groundwater in that area to move to where the water is being pumped.