We recognize that every Broward County resident has a right to drink clean water and that Broward County's potable water source is both a sustainable natural resource and economic asset. This program preserves a safe and healthful environment for Broward County’s citizens and visitors.
The program's goals are to:
Identify, conserve and protect all recharge areas in wellfield zones 1 and 2 from the introduction and misuse of regulated substances. The team's primary focus is on pollution prevention and control and maintaining and enforcing a licensing, inspecting and monitoring program to abate potential threats from regulated substances to the ground water.
Protect the quality of Broward County's potable water supply and minimize the presence of all regulated substances in wellfield protection zones by continuing to implement and improve Chapter 27, Article XIII Wellfield Protection Ordinance, Broward County Code of Ordinances which regulates the storage, handling, usage, disposal or production of regulated substances within designated zones of influence.
Conduct inspections of facilities in wellfield protection areas to locate possible contamination sources and insure abatement of identified sources.
Foster a solid working relationship with the public utilities and the regulated community.
Implement the division's enforcement strategy program, geared toward the early identification of environmental problems/issues and to focus on inspecting those facilities that pose the most significant potential to cause environmental harm due to noncompliance or mismanagement.
Broward County has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. We are fortunate that we have been able to maintain a safe water supply in a county with numerous facilities that store, handle, use and manufacture hazardous materials. As the use of hazardous chemicals in Broward County continues to grow, the potential for contamination of our water supplies will increase. Although our water supplies are safe now, we cannot afford to lower our commitment to protecting this vital resource. Toxic chemicals from chemical spills can persist for a long time underground and they can travel great distances in the subsurface environment to our public potable water wells.
The Wellfield Protection Program performs an integral part in the Pollution Prevention, Remediation and Air Quality Division's mission. The program regulates activities in wellfield protection areas including the storage, handling, use and production of regulated substances at hazardous material facilities. This includes an extensive inspection, pollution prevention promotion and monitoring program at each hazardous material facility and a monitoring program of the potable water quality. This is being done to ensure that chemicals at hazardous materials facilities are not impacting the public water supply. This is done because the most cost-effective and time-effective approach to protecting our wellfields is to prevent contamination of the water supply before it occurs.
All existing anthropogenic and natural sources are inventoried within the protected areas. Contaminant sources that can threaten the drinking water supply are numerous and may include non-point source pesticide and herbicide impacts, point source impacts such as underground storage tanks, domestic septic tanks and abandoned and improperly constructed wells. The sources are evaluated based on the potential to cause human health and environmental risks. Current inventories of facilities using, storing or producing hazardous materials are maintained and these facilities are routinely inspected to ensure compliance with their Hazardous Material Wellfield Licenses. Pollution prevention practices are promoted during the inspections.
Wellfield protection requires the participation of all levels of government. The team continues to improve its wellfield protection efforts by defining the roles and duties of the participating entities at all levels of government, delineating wellhead protection areas, identifying and monitoring all sources of contamination in the protected areas; and ensuring the program's success by encouraging public participation and promoting public education.