Private Constraints on Ground-Water Contamination

by William R. Walker, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, Va.,
William E. Cox, (A.M.ASCE), Research Assoc.; Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg, Va.,


Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 10, Pg. 1333-1341


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Institutional mechanisms for protection of ground-water quality include state and federal laws and the private rights of individual citizens. The extent to which private rights to uncontaminated ground water have been given legal recognition has varied over time and among jurisdictions. The range extends from the view that an absolute right to uncontaminated ground water exists to recognition of a limited right enforceable only in situations involving negligence. Resolution of ground-water contamination conflicts generally involves balancing the equities in the individual situation, a process that leads to a substantial degree of uncertainty with respect to the status of the right to uncontaminated ground water. Thus, the effectiveness of private rights as a quality protection mechanism is limited, and further development of supplemental controls appears desirable.

Subject Headings: Groundwater pollution | Groundwater quality | Groundwater | Federal government | Jurisdiction

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