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Section 7.8 of the HRS Guidance Manual

This section provides guidance on scoring the resources and wellhead protection area (WPA) factors for the targets factor category of the ground water pathway. The resources factor (HRS section 3.3.3) evaluates the possible loss of ground water use value resulting from site-related contamination. It does not evaluate threats to human health that are considered in the nearest well and population factors. The wellhead protection area factor (HRS section 3.3.4) evaluates the possibility that a source or observed release lies in or near an area that a state has designated for protection under the SDWA.

  Section 3.3.3   Resources
  Section 3.3.4   Wellhead protection area


Commercial Aquaculture: Cultivation of fish or shellfish to be sold for widespread distribution. Examples include a rearing pond used to raise catfish or a pond for nonfood crops such as goldfish and tropical fish.

Commercial Food Crops: Crops that are intended to be sold widely, such as in supermarkets, and locally, such as those sold at local produce stands. Crops grown for domestic consumption or for use in a single restaurant are not considered commercial food crops.

Commercial Forage Crops: Crops grown to be sold as food for livestock (it is not necessary to document that these crops were sold only for commercial livestock), and grasslands used for grazing by commercial livestock (including areas technically defined as "pasture/rangeland" by the USDA).

Ingredient in Commercial Food Preparation: Ground water used for wholesale food preparation (e.g., a manufacturer that prepares food products to be sold in supermarkets or produce stands). Food prepared in restaurants is not included in this category.

Major or Designated Water Recreation Area: A major water recreation area is an area used by a large number of people for recreational purposes (e.g., a water theme park). A designated water recreation area is an area designated and maintained by a government body (e.g., local, state, or Federal) as an area for public recreation (e.g., municipal swimming pool).

Wellhead Protection Area (WPA): Area designated by states according to section 1428 of the SDWA, as amended, to protect wells and recharge areas that supply public drinking water systems.


  • Use the checklist in Highlight 7-46 to determine whether any uses that are assigned resource points apply to any target well for the aquifer being evaluated. Standby wells cannot be used to score the resources factor. Use the definitions above to assist in making this determination. Because the resources factor receives an "all or nothing" value, it may not be necessary to continue with the other questions on the checklist after one resource use is identified. Note that the factor can be evaluated based on any target well in the aquifer being evaluated or in overlying aquifers. Highlight 7-47 provides sources of information that may help document resource use.

  • If a resource use can be documented, assign a value of 5 to the resources factor for the aquifer. If no resource use can be documented, assign a value of 0.


WPAs are designated by state or local agencies; however, some states may not have any designated WPAs. Contact the state department of environmental protection or equivalent agency to determine the status of the state's WPA program and to obtain information on the location of WPAs.

  • Determine whether there is a designated WPA within the TDL. The WPA must be applicable to the aquifer being evaluated or an overlying aquifer through which hazardous substances would migrate to reach the aquifer being evaluated.

  • If not, assign a value of 0 to the WPA factor

  • If so, continue to Step (2).

  • Determine whether a source (with a ground water containment factor value greater than 0) lies either partially or fully above the designated WPA.

  • If so, assign a value of 20 to the WPA factor

  • If not, continue to Step (3).

  • Determine whether an observed release attributable to the sources at the site can be documented within the designated WPA.

  • If so, assign a value of 20 to the WPA factor

  • If not, assign a value of 5 to the WPA factor.


  • A maximum of 5 targets points can be assigned for the resources factor. Do not spend a lot of time documenting resource use unless those 5 points may be critical to the site score.

  • A well used for both drinking water and irrigation can be assigned targets points for the population, nearest well, and resources targets factors.

  • Standby wells cannot be used to score the resources factor.

  • Sole source aquifers do not qualify as WPAs unless they are so designated.

  • Proposed WPAs should not be scored as WPAs; however, their proposed designation should be mentioned in the documentation record. If the proposed WPA is designated as a WPA before the scoring package goes final, the site score can be adjusted.


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