GIS Landscape—A Solution for Wellhead Protection

by Geoffrey A. Reese, Joint Planning Commission, Allentown, United States,
Paul A. DeBarry, Joint Planning Commission, Allentown, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Hydrology


Wellhead protection is an emerging issue for water suppliers based largely on the 1986 Amendments to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). State governments are developing wellhead protection programs to meet the SDWA requirements and to provide local governments and water suppliers with guidance. Data requirements to support a wellhead protection program can become unwidely without the benefit of a Geographic Information System (GIS). An Environmental Landscape Classification System (ELCS) can be created and managed using a GIS to provide spatial relationships between geology, glacial deposits, topography, soils, land use, pollution activities and groundwater resources. These spatial relationships, when combined with appropriate analytical techniques, may be used to define critical areas surrounding well sites in need of special protection. Further, the ELCS can assist in the assessment of pollution vulnerability of individual well sites based on known locations of potential contaminant activities. An Environmental Landscape Classification System was created for Lehigh and Northampton counties, located in eastern Pennsylvania, as part of a project to develop a regional wellhead protection strategy.

Subject Headings: Geographic information systems | Landscaping | Water supply | Information systems | Water pollution | Water resources | Groundwater pollution | Water quality | Pennsylvania | United States

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