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EPA lauds James City for protecting drinking water sources

Release Date: 6/26/2002
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the James City Service Authority an award for taking special initiatives to protect the drinking water sources of residents in James City County, Virginia.

“Protecting the sources of our drinking water safeguards both public health and our environment, and we applaud the James City Service Authority for its extraordinary effort,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

EPA selected the James City Service Authority as the Virginia recipient of EPA’s source water protection award. The authority’s water protection efforts include an innovative public education program called “Cap It” that educates James City County residents on the importance of properly closing and sealing old private drinking water wells. If old wells are not properly closed, pollutants like motor oil, paint, and lawn chemicals can enter them through storm water runoff or deteriorated well casings, and contaminate municipal groundwater sources.

EPA’s source water protection awards encourage communities with public drinking water systems to take steps to protect these sources. The award is open to individuals, and public and private organizations throughout EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, the District of Columbia and Maryland.

The award program is getting special emphasis this year as EPA commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.

In 1996, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to give greater protection to millions of Americans who rely on public drinking water systems. By law, all states must delineate areas supplying drinking water to public systems, and develop programs to protect drinking water sources from contamination.