SOURCE WATER PROTECTION PLANNING

Source water protection is an ongoing and evolving program to understand and address risks to drinking water supplies. The following sections provide links to the approved 2019 plan updates, as well as an overview of regulatory requirements for source water protection planning in West Virginia and our approach to the planning process.  

How to Get Involved

Protecting drinking water at its source is an important part of the process to treat and deliver high quality water. We have developed Source Water Protection Plans to identify and reduce potential risks to drinking water supplies. We update these plans regularly and want YOUR input.

WV DHHR Regions

Each West Virginia American Water water system has a unique Source Water Protection Plan. These plans are the cornerstone of an overarching statewide program to protect drinking water supplies. Each plan is updated every three years and staggered by region. In 2022, our Huntington Water System will be the focus.

Save the date for YOUR water system’s public meeting or review the plan and submit comments anytime on our website. Below is the West Virginia American Water Source Water Protection Plan update schedule by water system.

  • 2022: Region 5: Huntington
  • 2023: Region 2: Weston
  • 2024: Region 4: Bluefield, Bluestone, Gassaway, New River, Kanawha Valley, Webster Springs

LEARN MORE

Source water protection is an ongoing and evolving program to understand and address risks to drinking water supplies. Each Source Water Protection Plan includes program goals and objectives, regulatory framework, specific plan components, plan implementation, and stakeholder engagement. Each system’s full plan is available for review below.

To learn more about West Virginia American Water’s source water protection planning efforts and provide input, visit our interactive GIS Storymap. Protecting the Source: Your Water, Our Plan (arcgis.com)

ONLINE

Comments may be submitted online anytime using our online feedback/request form. All submissions will be directed to your local Source Water Protection Manager.

WEBINAR

We will host a public meeting for each of our operating areas according to the regional update schedule. In 2022, we’ll be focusing on our Huntington Water System. The information presented at this webinar will be specific to this water system. If you wish to attend, join us virtually using the link below. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and submit written comments at the webinar.

Huntington Water System (Western Operations)

      • Tuesday, May 17, 2022
      • 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
      • Topic: WVAW Source Water Protection - Huntington
      • Time: May 17, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
      • Join Zoom Meeting
      • Meeting ID: 844 2150 8940
      • Passcode: 276756
      • One tap mobile
      • +13017158592,,84421508940#,,,,*276756# US

CAN’T MAKE IT?

Visit our website to review the plan and submit comments online anytime. Comments must be received by June 6, 2022, to be considered for the 2022 Huntington Water System plan update.

COMMENTS

The public comment period specific to the 2022 Huntington Source Water Protection Plan update will be open until June 6, 2022. Comments may be submitted through the online feedback form [link], during the webinar, or in writing addressed to West Virginia American Water; Attn: Source Water Protection Manager; 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Charleston, WV 25302.

 

Source Water Protection Plan Updates - Approved by WVDHHR

In 2019, we submitted an updated Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP) for each of our water systems to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) for review in accordance with state regulations. WVDHHR approved each of our submitted SWPPs in 2020. Links to the public version of each plan are provided below.

Approved Bluefield Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Bluestone Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Gassaway Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Huntington Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Kanawha Valley Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved New River Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Webster Springs Source Water Protection Plan Update

Approved Weston Source Water Protection Plan Update

We will  continue to accept comments on an ongoing basis for future source water protection plan updates. You may provide input online through our online feedback form or by mail to West Virginia American Water, Attention: Source Water Protection Program Manager, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Charleston, WV 25302.

 

REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

The basic foundation for source water protection was established on a national level through the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments passed in 1986 and 1996. These amendments created wellhead protection and source water assessment programs and left responsibility for implementing these programs with each state.

In 2014, the West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 373, which established regulatory requirements for source water protection planning. This added specific requirements for public water utilities to develop and update source water protection plans. A complete copy of Senate Bill 373 can be found here.

The West Virginia Legislature also included provisions through Senate Bill 373 and subsequent Senate Bill 423 to help ensure that contaminants are appropriately stored, handled and safeguarded from ever reaching public water sources. These regulations require that information about contaminant sources be provided directly to water utilities for use in source water protection planning and event response. For more information about aboveground storage tank (AST) notifications to water systems, click here.

 

PLANNING PROCESS

Source Water Protection Planning Approach

Our strategic approach to source water protection planning for each of our water systems across the state is an ongoing process that includes the following components:

    1. Establish vision and program objectives
    2. Evaluate existing plans and operations
    3. Update source water assessments
    4. Conduct technical and feasibility studies
    5. Develop management strategies and action plans
    6. Implement strategies and action plans
    7. Ongoing program evaluation and improvement

 

Stakeholder involvement is an important part of the planning process. The nature and degree of involvement varies by task and stakeholder group. A few examples include:

    • Regulatory agency input on assessment and feasibility studies;
    • Emergency responder involvement in contingency planning; and
    • Community feedback and support for strategies to address source water issues.