MOUNT VERNON — After a meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency, the city is taking measures to develop a new protection system for its drinking water sources.
Initially, the city formed provisions in 2000 upon the building of the water treatment plant, located on Old Delaware Road. As a part of the requirement, the city had to establish boundaries of the aquifer — an underground water source that transmits water to the city’s two wells — and identify potential contaminate sources within the boundaries. Then, the time of travel for these contaminate sources had to be determined as a one-year time of travel, called the inner management zone, within the vicinity of the city’s wells, and a five-year time of travel, referred to as the source water protection area. These wells pump water to the water treatment plant, and with the possibility of contaminates causing hazards to drinking water, these precautions were necessary.
The Well-Head Protection Program, as it was originally called by the EPA, since then has developed into what it is now known as the Drinking Water Source Area Protection Plan. The new plan has some new requirements for villages and cities with water wells.
The city must now identify any new potential contaminate sources, as well as mark sources that are ineffective or non-existence. These sources, such as businesses, industries and receptacles, deal with different pollutants that have the potential to contaminate the aquifer. Examples of those possible contaminants are underground storage tanks, junk yards, dry cleaners, gas stations, gravel pits and auto repair/body shops.