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Water Quality Division > Programs > Public Water Supply > Source Water Protection

Source Water Protection


The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 requires states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAP) to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of the public drinking water throughout the state. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) approval for our program. The program plan for SWAP established that an analysis must be completed by May 2003 for all water systems. Oklahoma has met this aggressive schedule by utilizing our staff and through the cooperation of water systems.


Each SWAP assessment includes the following information:

  • Delineation of the source water protection area

  • Inventory of the contaminant source within the area

  • Determination of the susceptibility of the public water supply to contamination from the inventoried sources

  • Release of the results of the assessments to the public

Funding for this program has been earmarked through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The SWAP program builds on and extends work already in progress in wellhead and watershed protection programs. Oklahoma's SWAP takes existing data sources to develop draft plans which will then be physically verified by DEQ field staff with water system staff for accuracy. A final report for each system has been made available to each system. To ensure security for our drinking water supplies the dissemination of the complete report is up to the individual system. However, a statement in each system's Consumer Confidence Report must give a summary of the system's vulnerability and/or susceptability score and notify customers that the report is available for review.


The EPA is responsible for the review and approval of state SWAPs. Oklahoma utilized a variety of resources to develop our program plan. However, the single most utilized resource was the EPA State Source Water Assessment and Protection Programs Guidance. This document defines the information that states needed to provide about their program before approval including public participation requirements and funding sources available through the DWSRF.


The DEQ has made every attempt to include the public and other Agencies in program development. A variety of data has been made available to the DEQ from other Agencies to aid in SWAP. Further, the cooperation of water systems is critical in insuring that the goals of the program are met.


Completed assessments can be used to focus prevention resources on drinking water protection.

EPA and the DEQ strongly encourages linking the source water assessments to implementation of source water protection programs. The reports developed through the program will attempt to provide information to water systems on options for protection programs. Additionally, DEQ will provide information about available funding sources for the implementation of protection measures.