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.

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

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.

A lake with clear water, leaves on the surface, and surrounded by trees

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 »


Wetlands provide habitat for wildlife, filter water, and can act like a sponge to limit flooding.


Protect wetlands by not damaging the flow of water. This can mean not placing soil or fill in wetlands and not digging in them to redirect water.