The City of Wooster Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) which is a written, adaptive plan of action for protecting the water we drink at the source. A SWPP Task Force has been formed with the focus on our community and deep desire to protect our Drinking Source Water.
A Drinking Water Source Water Protection Program includes two phases: assessment and protection. Assessment includes research, data, and science to evaluate the potential for source contamination based on the facilities and activities with in areas of interest. Protection includes activities to ensure the integrity of the source water that eventually becomes the source of drinking water for the community.
Through collaboration with the Ohio EPA and consultants, the City of Wooster engaged in a comprehensive update of this program. This included evaluation of protection methods, protection areas, and efforts to ensure the program operates with the focus of drinking water protection.
The ground water used by the City of Wooster has high susceptibility to contamination, as evidenced by ground water contamination in the South Wellfield. In 1983, the Ohio EPA discovered the presence of volatile organic compounds in the raw water supply. The source of contamination was determined to be surface spillage migrating from a nearby industrial plant upgradient from the production well. Interceptor wells were installed in 1985, 1989, and 2006 to capture the contaminated ground water prior to migration to the production wells. The interceptors create a hydraulic barrier between the local ground water divide and the production wells. The well system and the treatment components remove contaminants by air stripping thus removing contamination from the aqueous state. An example to our protection commitment includes pumping and treating 253 million gallons of source water on an annual basis not used for treated drinking water.
The Utilities Department engaged with the Ohio EPA to create an endorsed ‘Source Water Protection Plan’. A ‘Source Water Protection Plan’ includes protective strategies including the establishment of a taskforce to review the program and advise on its implementation. The program identifies the source and boundaries of the City’s aquifer and the potential sources of contamination that could affect the water in the aquifer.
Safe drinking water is not an accident; it is intentional with a focus on community health and reliability. Wooster has a positive, progressive, and proud tradition of stewardship at work meeting the expectations of our citizens and the regulatory community. The City of Wooster has placed a priority on protecting its ground water resources through public education and local source controls. Community action, support, and education is paramount to ensuring safe drinking water in Wooster for generations to come.