Abstract In Wyoming, the development and administration of the Wellhead Protection (WHP) program is the responsibility of the Department of Environmental Quality, Water Quality Division (DEQ-WQD). While the WHP program guidance document is currently under final review prior to public release, the basic premise behind the state's program is to promote voluntary participation, and provide guidance on how to "do-it-yourself" at the local level. In response to this challenge, the Town of Elk Mountain petitioned the Nonpoint Source Pollution Task Force for funding to test whether or not a small public water system can complete the various tasks associated with a local WHP Plan at a reasonable cost.
The project is generating a WHP Plan for the Town's two wells, which develop water from the Cloverly Group (Lakota and Dakota Sandstones), an important oil and gas reservoir in Wyoming, and the sole source of drinking water for the Town of Elk Mountain. As with many small Wyoming communities, the role of oil and gas wells located near the municipal water wells as a potential source of contamination is a primary concern.
The results of the project will be useful to Wyoming communities developing WHP Plans in areas where oil and gas exploration and development occurs near deep water wells serving as a public drinking water supply. This project demonstrates that small public water systems can economically develop high quality, workable WHP Plans using the "do-it-yourself' approach outlined in the state's WHP program.
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