downed tree across a stream in the winter with snow on the ground

Source Water Protection (SWP)

What is Source Water?

Source water refers to sources of water (such as rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater) that provide water for public drinking water supplies and private wells.  


What is Groundwater?

Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rock.

Rain, melting snow, and surface water becomes groundwater by seeping into the ground and filling these spaces. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand, and rocks called aquifers.

In Pike County, our aquifers mainly consist of gravel or shale. Groundwater is a source of recharge for our streams, lakes, rivers, and wetlands. 

For more information about the water cycle and groundwater’s role in it, watch this water cycle video.

Where Does Your Water Come From?

From Source to Sink...

Learn about source water in Pike County and find some tips on how you can help protect your drinking water sources at home.

Download the Brochure »

From Source to Sink Protecting your Drinking water brochure

Why Protect Source Water?

Protecting source water can prevent exposure to contaminated water, thereby reducing health risks.

When harmful substances get into our source waters, they can travel with that water into our wells and out of our faucets.

Protecting source water from contamination helps reduce treatment costs and may avoid or defer the need for complex treatment and the cost to drill a new well.

There are many additional benefits associated with source water protection, such as protecting water quality for wildlife and recreational use and protecting the availability and quantity of water supplies.

15 Actions You Can Take to Benefit Our Water Resources

A Homeowner's Checklist for a Watershed-Friendly Home

Check off all the actions on this list and your home will truly be watershed friendly!

Download the Brochure »

Homeowner Checklist for a Watershed Friendly Home brochure cover

Did you know?

Just a quart of motor oil can contaminate a million gallons of water!

illustration explains how runoff and containments can enter through groundwater into our drinking water

There are 4,700 miles of streams and 74 square miles of lakes and ponds in Pike County. Most of these waterways are exceptionally clean and support healthy ecosystems.


Follow all fishing laws, and don’t pollute these clean streams. Volunteer to help restore and protect these waterways.

Check out our Partners in Conservation which you can pitch in to help »