Sample Wellhead Protection Ordinance Provisions
Sanjay Jeer, Senior Research Associate, APA

Reprinted with permission from A Guide to Wellhead Protection, PAS Report No. 457/458 (Chicago: American Planning Association, August 1995), Appendix D.

The provisions listed below are basic components for most wellhead protection ordinances. In deciding whether to include any of these provisions, you must answer two questions:

  1. Are these provisions permitted under your State enabling legislation? Not all provisions are applicable in all states. Moreover, some states' enabling legislation allows such provisions to be part of the health or building codes instead of the zoning code, especially those that pertain to continuous compliance, monitoring, and emergency response. All provisions used in the wellhead protection ordinance must be permitted through enabling legislation or municipal charter.

  2. Are these provisions appropriate in the wellhead protection ordinance portion of the zoning code? Often communities have general code provisions with overlapping intent that could be referenced in the wellhead provisions of the ordinance. Typically, such provisions are found in other groundwater or aquifer-protection-related standards. Cross-referencing such general provisions in the wellhead section of the ordinance may be sufficient if they are appropriate to the wellhead protection areas.
The provisions are organized into sections that are found in most zoning ordinances. Each section contains a statement of purpose followed by applicable notes. Where useful, a summary of key elements is also provided. Sample language is provided and is taken, wherever possible, from ordinances presently in use. These sample provisions are from zoning ordinances or special ordinances and tribal regulations that are similar to zoning enforcement and authority. They do not include wellhead protection standards that local governments typically maintain in other regulations, such as health regulations, or building and construction codes.

Note that these provisions are provided for illustration only and may be inappropriate or require significant modification to suit local needs.

  1. Title
  2. Purpose and Intent
  3. Authority and Applicability
  4. Extent and Designations
  5. Use Regulations
  6. Performance Standards
  7. Site Plan Submission and Administrative Requirements
  8. Definitions

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Wellhead Protection Program Guidance Document Contents
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality