FOR CREATING A
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The following is intended to be a model or example ordinance only. To meet the needs and objectives of the local community, each local ordinance should be written in a way that works best for the community.
Appendix E contains an example ordinance.
An ordinance is just one of the many zoning tools available to the local government. Your
community can identify the wellhead protection area by the use of zoning or an
"overlay" zone, which is a planning tool commonly used by many local
governments. Then, by using the current zoning permit process that is already in place at
the local government, an overlay zone or district can be applied to the wellhead
protection area. This includes establishing an area for special review of proposed land
uses that may contaminate the drinking water supply.
The information gathered in developing a local wellhead protection plan
will also provide you with the information needed to develop a local ordinance.
Delineation establishes: (1) appropriate zoning boundaries that best reflect the drinking
water resource, and (2) any other interior boundaries or areas, e.g., 6 month
time-of-travel boundary, wherein you may want to provide more
protection. Information gathered on potential sources of contaminants
(by use of local zoning maps) will help you identify any particular areas that require
special attention. The existing local zoning tells you the uses in your wellhead
protection area that are permitted outright, as a conditional use, or not allowed without
re-zoning. The local "Team" provides feedback and consensus on the best approach
to use and how to establish a planning process that meets the needs of the local community
in protecting the wellhead protection area.
For further information, refer to Statewide Planning Goal 1, Citizen
Involvement, Goal 2, Part 1, Planning, and local government's enabling authorities under
ORS Chapter 97 (for cities), and ORS Chapter 215 (for counties). EPA has compiled an
extensive set of groundwater protection ordinances from around the country. Information
about the "Compendium of Local Wellhead Protection Ordinances" can be obtained
by contacting Doug White or Diana Butts at DLCD in Salem (503-373-0083).
Wellhead Protection Area District
COUNTY/CITY OF __________
PURPOSE AND INTENT
The __________ (City, County) Commission recognizes: (a) that residents
of __________ rely exclusively on groundwater for a safe drinking water supply, and (b)
that certain land uses in __________ can contaminate groundwater particularly in
The purpose of the Wellhead Protection Area District is to protect
public health and safety by minimizing contamination of the shallow/surficial aquifers of
__________. It is the intent to accomplish this, as much as possible, by public education
and securing public cooperation.
Appropriate land use regulations may be imposed, however, which are in
addition to these imposed in the underlying zoning districts or in other county
Section 1.0 - Definitions
1. AQUIFER. A geological formation, group of formations or part
of a formation capable of storing and yielding groundwater to wells and springs.
2. BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPs). Measures, either managerial
or structural, that are determined to be the most effective, practical means of preventing
or reducing pollution inputs from point sources or nonpoint sources of water bodies.
3. CONFINED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATION (CAFO). The concentrated
confined feeding or holding of animals or poultry, including, but not limited to horse,
cattle, sheep or swine feeding areas, dairy confinement areas, slaughterhouse or shipping
terminal holding pens, poultry and egg production facilities and fur farms, in buildings
or in pens or lots where the surface has been prepared with concrete, rock or fibrous
material to support animals in wet weather or which have waste water treatment works.
4. CONTAMINATION. An impairment of water quality by chemicals,
radionuclides, biologic organisms, or other extraneous matter whether or not it affects
the potential or intended beneficial use of water.
5. DEVELOPMENT. The carrying out of any construction,
reconstruction, alteration of surface or structure or change of land use or intensity of
6. FACILITY. Something that is built, installed, or established
for a particular purpose.
7. FARM PRACTICES. A mode of operation that is common to farms of
a similar nature, reasonable and prudent for the operation of such farms to obtain a
profit in money, is or may become a generally accepted method in conjunction with farm
use, complies with applicable laws, and is done in a reasonable and prudent manner.
8. GREY WATER. All domestic wastewater except toilet discharge
9. HAZARDOUS MATERIAL. A material which is defined in one or more
of the following categories:
10. PRIMARY CONTAINMENT FACILITY. A tank, pit, container, pipe or
vessel of first containment of a liquid or chemical.
11. RELEASE. Any unplanned or improper discharge, leak, or spill
of a potential contaminant including a hazardous material.
12. SECONDARY CONTAINMENT FACILITY. A second tank, catchment pit,
pipe, or vessel that limits and contains liquid or chemical leaking or leaching from a
primary containment area; monitoring and recovery are required,
13. SHALLOW/SURFICIAL AQUIFER. An aquifer in which the permeable
medial (sand and gravel) starts at the land surface or immediately below the soil profile.
14. SPILL RESPONSE PLANS. Detailed plans for control,
recontainment, recovery, and clean up of hazardous material releases, such as during fires
or equipment failures.
15. TIME-OF-TRAVEL DISTANCE. The distance that groundwater will
travel in a specified time. This distance is generally a function of the permeability and
slope of the aquifer.
16. WELLHEAD PROTECTION AREA. The surface and subsurface area
surrounding a water well, spring or wellfield, supplying a public water system, through
which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and reach that water well, spring
Section 2.0 - Zones Within The Wellhead Protection Area
1. ZONE A - DRINKING WATER CRITICAL IMPACT ZONE. Zone A is the
area within the 6-month time-of-travel distance mapped around the public water supply
a. Encouraged Uses. Provided they meet appropriate performance
standards outlined in 2.c below and are designed so as to prevent any groundwater
b. Special Exceptions. The following uses are permitted only
under the terms of a special exception and must conform to provisions of the underlying
zoning district and meet the performance standards outlined in 2(c) below.
c. Prohibited Uses. The following uses are prohibited within Zone
A, the 6- month time-of-travel zone. (NOTE: this is typically within about 1000 feet
of the public water supply well.)
2. ZONE B. Zone B is established as the remainder of the wellhead
protection area not included in Zone A.
a. Permitted Uses: All uses permitted in the underlying zoning
districts provided that they can meet the Performance Standards as outlined for the
Wellhead Protection Area District.
b. Special Exceptions: All special exceptions allowed in
underlying districts may be approved by the __________ Commission provided they can meet
performance standards outlined for the Wellhead Protection Area District.
c. Performance Standards: The following standards shall apply to
uses in Zones A and B of the Wellhead Protection Area District:
Section 3.0 - City/County Liability
Section 4.0 - Enforcement
1. CIVIL ENFORCEMENT:
2. CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT: In lieu of proceeding under Section 4.0,
a person who is alleged to have violated this ordinance may be prosecuted for the
commission of a crime. Violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor and may be punished by
imprisonment of not more than ninety (90) days or imposition of a fine of not more than
$500.00 or both.
Section 5.0 - Saving Clause
1. Should any section or provision of this ordinance be declared
invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the ordinance as a whole or any
other part thereof.
Approved by: _________________________________
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