Contaminated drinking water wells are identified through the sampling efforts of the local County Public Health Units supported by the Water Supply Restoration Program (WSRP) funding. WSRP’s sampling contract with the Department of Health (DOH) allows potable water quality monitoring which includes well surveying, sampling, and data collection at no cost to the property owner. Priority will be given to areas around wells where elevated levels of contamination appear to pose a public health threat, followed by areas around reported contamination sites that have not yet been investigated and by areas for which the longest period-of-time has elapsed since the last investigation was performed. To optimize resources, wells are sampled in areas of known or suspected contamination, such as agricultural areas or near underground storage tanks.
The DOH submits water well samples to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Laboratory in Tallahassee for analysis on a routine basis. If laboratory results confirm man-made contaminants, the property owner or the resident are contacted by the WSRP. The program is completely voluntary, but the property owner must accept the best option as outlined in "Assistance Options".
The Super Act program at the DOH concentrates its efforts in areas suspected to have petroleum-related contamination and targets drinking water wells near known storage tanks for sampling. In addition, various solvent contaminants are frequently found when sampling near these tanks or other industrial facilities.
The agricultural chemical sampling program looks for contamination related to use of pesticides or fertilizers. This program is a cooperative effort between DOH, the County Public Health Units, and DEP. Results are sent to the property owner or the resident, and the applicable DEP and DOH program coordinators. Pesticide manufacturers occasionally participate in restoration and replacement efforts where their products contaminate drinking water wells.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.