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United States Environmental Protection Agency
Source Water Protection
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Source Water Protection

Source water is untreated water from streams, rivers, lakes, or underground aquifers which is used to supply private wells and public drinking water.

Preventing drinking water contamination at the source makes sense:

  • good public health sense;
  • good economic sense; and
  • good environmental sense.

Preventing contamination of drinking water supplies is an important mission within EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

This site has basic information about the water used for drinking water and the federal, state, and local programs that assess and manage potential public health risks, including a Web Guide - an annotated guide to EPA source water resources. Please see our Site Map for a complete list of topics. Source Water Features, found at the bottom of this page, highlights recent additions to the site.

We are currently revising and updating this site and your input will be helpful. Please send comments and suggestions to Thank you!

River winding through valley.

Young boy drinking from water spigot.

Source Water Protection Conference Link Source Water Features Link Source Water Protection Pocket Guide Source Water Web Guide


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