Wellhead Protection

Wellhead Protection
The purpose of wellhead protection is to protect groundwater resources of community public water supplies to reduce the potential for ground and surface water contamination. Between 2000 - 2005 the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) published a series of Source Water Assessments for each of the county's community water systems that rely on groundwater. These assessments addressed the following:
  • Delineation of an area that contributes water to the source
  • Identification of potential sources of contamination
  • Determination of the susceptibility of the water supply to contamination
Potential Sources of Contaminants
  • Potential sources of contaminants include agricultural activities and gas stations
  • Industrial uses that store and use various liquids such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and kerosene
  • The improper use, storage, or disposal, or release of these or other a wide variety of substances from agricultural, industrial, or residential activities can harm groundwater quality
  • The contaminants may include volatile organic compounds, radionuclitides, synthetic organic compounds, microbial contaminants, and nitrates
Wellhead Protection Ordinance
In 2007, Frederick County adopted a Wellhead Protection Ordinance, which only applies to the county's jurisdiction. The ordinance established wellhead protection areas for all community groundwater supply systems, amended a section of the county code to include new regulations for hazardous substance storage tanks, and prohibited certain land uses and activities within designated wellhead protection areas. Several municipalities have adopted their own wellhead protection ordinances including Middletown, Mt. Airy, Walkersville, Myersville, and Frederick.