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
SOURCE WATER ASSESSMENTS
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.
STATE SOURCE WATER ASSESSMENT PROGRAM GUIDANCE
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.
SOURCE WATER PROTECTION
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.