Though not embedded in law, Non-Regulatory Tools build awareness and buy-in amongst community members and are essential to every Source Water Protection Plan.
To evaluate the types of non-regulatory strategies that are best for your water supplies, it is a good idea to discuss the various options with local boards and community groups. Working with local partner groups is an important way to spread the word, gain allies and additional resources that will help local residents understand the goal is a safe protected water supply for families.
Non-regulatory measures are the most commonly used source water protection tools in Pennsylvania. Pollution prevention, restoration of contaminated sites, acquisition of important parcels of land or acquiring an interest in that land, water conservation and reuse, public education, and emergency planning all help to ensure that local water sources provide safe drinking water. Voluntary measures also provide opportunities for improving quality of life and involving citizens in meaningful activities that will strengthen their community for the long term.
It may not always be possible for the owner/operator of a community water system to implement protection measures on the sources of pollution identified in the source water
assessment or plan. In these instances, source water protection may best be accomplished through non-regulatory approaches.
Voluntary approaches include:
- pollution prevention
- land acquisition
- restoration of contaminated sites and water supplies
- water conservation and reuse
- public education and awareness program
- and emergency response planning.
Consider these implementation measures:
1. Develop a source water protection public education program
a. Educate and inform residents and business owners located in sensitive source water zones about ways they can help keep local water supplies safe. Offer businesses ways to use less toxic products, or store smaller quantities in source water zones.
b. Educate local officials about source water zones using maps and highlight appropriate land use measures
c. Coordinate with local emergency management about source water protection zones & provide maps
d. Conduct a school education program – use groundwater model and surface water models
2. Install water supply area signs for spill response
3. Promote household hazardous waste collections &
prescription drug and personal care product collections
4. Encourage preservation of open space; engage local land trust and conservation groups
5. Acquire sensitive land parcels in source water protection zones
6. Purchase conservation easements on sensitive land parcels
7. Support septic system management and encourage regular pump-outs; educate homeowners
8. Update detailed emergency response plan
9. Develop a groundwater monitoring program
10. Encourage Best Management Practice implementation -especially agriculture and stormwater management practices