Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Source Water Protection Activity Guide

The Source Water Protection Guide identifies potential sources and types of contamination that could threaten public drinking water sources (source water) and presents protection activities that can be implemented to better protect source water from contamination.

Potential contaminant sources identified in the guide are grouped into four categories – agricultural/rural, commercial/industrial, residential/municipal, miscellaneous – and include various facilities, land uses, and environmental conditions that have the potential to contaminate ground water and surface water. The guide provides a summary of each contaminant source and its associated contaminant types, protection activities, and additional resources.

Source water protection activities can include nonregulatory and regulatory approaches. Nonregulatory or voluntary management practices and education and outreach can be effective long term by changing the behaviors and practices of those in the source water protection area. Nonregulatory protection strategies are usually most effective when combined with regulatory approaches, such as land-use regulations, permitting, or other public policy strategies. The guide includes both regulatory and nonregulatory protection activities that can help to protect source water. The activities listed are not comprehensive but provide a starting point for planning efforts.

To get started, use the Quick Select menus below to navigate through the guide, learn about potential contaminant sources, and identify possible protection activities to minimize potential threats to source water. To learn more about a specific drinking water source and its susceptibility to contamination, read your system’s source water assessment report.

Quick Select

Use any of the following drop-down menus to navigate through the guide. Choosing a potential contaminant source category from the drop-down menu will narrow your potential contaminant source choices. Choosing a protection activity category from the drop-down menu will narrow your protection activity choices.

Contaminant Type

Potential Contaminant Source Category Potential Contaminant Source

Protection Activity Category Protection Activity


Staff Contacts

Source Water Coordinator
Rachael Smith
DEQ State Office
Water Quality Division
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 373-0249



Printable Source Water Protection Activity Guide

Related Pages

Source Water in Idaho

Source Water Protection in Idaho

Source Water Assessments in Idaho