As the population of Broward County continues to grow, so does the use of hazardous chemicals and the potential for contamination of our drinking water supplies. Toxic chemicals from chemical spills can persist for a long time underground and they can travel great distances in the subsurface environment to our public potable water wells.
Our main water supplies are dependent on a rain-driven system which recharges the highly transmissive Biscayne Aquifer providing water to more than 250 supply wells found in 39 wellfields. The treated water is distributed by public and private utilities to Broward County residents, visitors, and businesses.
This program establishes protected areas around public and private wellfields. The program’s responsibility is to regulate the storage, handling, use, and production of regulated substances at facilities within the wellfield protected areas. The program’s mission is to prevent hazardous chemicals from being released into the environment where the chemicals can migrate into our potable water supply.
The Wellfield Protection Program has existed since 1984 and has been a program in the Pollution Prevention Division (PPD) since 1990.
Broward County Wellfield Protection Program
We recognize that every Broward County resident has a right to drink clean water and that Broward County's potable water source is both a sustainable natural resource and economic asset. This program preserves a safe and healthful environment for Broward County’s citizens and visitors.
The program's goals are to:
- Identify, conserve and protect all recharge areas in wellfield zones 1 and 2 from the introduction and misuse of regulated substances. The team's primary focus is on pollution prevention and control and maintaining and enforcing a licensing, inspecting and monitoring program to abate potential threats from regulated substances to the ground water.
- Protect the quality of Broward County's potable water supply and minimize the presence of all regulated substances in wellfield protection zones by continuing to implement and improve Chapter 27, Article XIII Wellfield Protection Ordinance, Broward County Code of Ordinances which regulates the storage, handling, usage, disposal or production of regulated substances within designated zones of influence.
- Conduct inspections of facilities in wellfield protection areas to locate possible contamination sources and insure abatement of identified sources.
- Foster a solid working relationship with the public utilities and the regulated community.
- Implement the division's enforcement strategy program, geared toward the early identification of environmental problems/issues and to focus on inspecting those facilities that pose the most significant potential to cause environmental harm due to noncompliance or mismanagement.
Broward County has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. We are fortunate that we have been able to maintain a safe water supply in a county with numerous facilities that store, handle, use and manufacture hazardous materials. As the use of hazardous chemicals in Broward County continues to grow, the potential for contamination of our water supplies will increase. Although our water supplies are safe now, we cannot afford to lower our commitment to protecting this vital resource. Toxic chemicals from chemical spills can persist for a long time underground and they can travel great distances in the subsurface environment to our public potable water wells.
The Wellfield Protection Program performs an integral part in the Pollution Prevention Division's mission. The program regulates activities in wellfield protection areas including the storage, handling, use and production of regulated substances at hazardous material facilities. This includes an extensive inspection, pollution prevention promotion and monitoring program at each hazardous material facility and a monitoring program of the potable water quality. This is being done to ensure that chemicals at hazardous materials facilities are not impacting the public water supply. This is done because the most cost-effective and time-effective approach to protecting our wellfields is to prevent contamination of the water supply before it occurs.
All existing anthropogenic and natural sources are inventoried within the protected areas. Contaminant sources that can threaten the drinking water supply are numerous and may include non-point source pesticide and herbicide impacts, point source impacts such as underground storage tanks, domestic septic tanks and abandoned and improperly constructed wells. The sources are evaluated based on the potential to cause human health and environmental risks. Current inventories of facilities using, storing or producing hazardous materials are maintained and these facilities are routinely inspected to ensure compliance with their Hazardous Material Wellfield Licenses. Pollution prevention practices are promoted during the inspections.
Wellfield protection requires the participation of all levels of government. The team continues to improve its wellfield protection efforts by defining the roles and duties of the participating entities at all levels of government, delineating wellhead protection areas, identifying and monitoring all sources of contamination in the protected areas; and ensuring the program's success by encouraging public participation and promoting public education.
Federal & State Wellfield Protection Programs
Both the Federal Government and the State of Florida have programs directed toward protecting sources of public drinking water.
The Federal program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from Washington, D.C. and their Region IV offices in Atlanta, Georgia. The web site for the EPA is www.epa.gov/. Other web sites for drinking water information are www.epa.gov/safewater/ and www.epa.gov/safewater/protect/protect.html.
The State of Florida program is administered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) from Tallahassee, Florida and West Palm Beach, Florida. The web site for the FDEP is www.dep.state.fl.us/. Other web sites for drinking water information are www.dep.state.fl.us/swapp/ and www.dep.state.fl.us/water/drinkingwater/index.htm.
Hazardous Material Facility Wellfield License
If your business is located within Zone 1 or Zone 2, you may need to apply for a Hazardous Material Facility Wellfield License. Before applying, examine the product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets for each chemical at your business. Compare the chemicals to the list of regulated substances in Appendix A found on this web site under the heading “WHAT ARE THE REGULATED SUBSTANCES?”
Several of the chemicals on the list of regulated substances cover a broad range of chemicals such as “Petroleum products which are hazardous or toxic.” A substantial number of chemicals fall within that category. If you have additional questions call 954-519-1406
for further information.
If your business is located within Zone 3, you may need to apply for a Hazardous Material Facility Wellfield License. You may need the license if you have had a discharge of chemicals that contain regulated substances at your facility.
If your business is located in Zone 1, Zone 2 or Zone 3 and you do not store, handle, use or produce regulated substances but you do store 25 or more gallons of hazardous materials, you may be required to apply for a Hazardous Material Facility License.
To obtain a license application you can download a copy of the application from this web site or you can call our offices at 954-519-1405 for an application.
Help Protect Our Public Wellfields
Chemicals improperly used on your property could pose a risk to the public drinking water supply.
There are several ways that you can protect the public wellfields.
- Do not spill chemicals onto the ground, into the surface waters or into storm drains.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when using chemicals. Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides should be applied no more than the concentration and frequency recommended by the manufacturer.
- Dispose of household hazardous waste at hazardous waste collection centers. The Office of Integrated Waste Management (954-765-4999
) has information about hazardous waste collection programs.
- Report the improper use, storage and handling of hazardous chemicals to the department's hotline at 954-519-1499
Some substances that contain hazardous chemicals include pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, automotive fluids and paints. Also, please notify any pest control or lawn services that you employ to take special care when they apply chemicals to your property.
The Hazardous Material Facility Wellfield License will contain general conditions and wellfield specific conditions.
The general conditions are found on all Hazardous Material Wellfield Licenses and all Hazardous Material Facility Licenses. The wellfield specific conditions are prepared specific to the facility's inventory, location within the wellfield protected area and type of business. The license will contain a minimum of eight wellfield conditions. Licenses for water treatment plants, multi-tenant facilities or facilities that have obtained a variance will have additional conditions. The summary of wellfield specific conditions below is included to provide a general description of the typical license conditions.
- The terms, conditions, requirements, limitations and restrictions set forth herein are accepted by the licensee and must be completed by the Licensee and are enforceable by the Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department (EPGMD) pursuant to the Code. EPGMD will review this license periodically and may revoke or suspend the license, and initiate administrative and/or judicial action for any violation of the conditions by the Licensee, its agents, employees, servants or representatives.
- This license is valid only for the specific uses set forth in the license application and any deviation from the approved uses may constitute grounds for revocation, suspension and/or enforcement action by EPGMD.
- In the event the Licensee is temporarily unable to comply with any of the conditions of the license or with the Code, the Licensee shall notify EPGMD within eight (8) hours or as stated in the specific section of the Code. Within three (3) working days of the event, the Licensee shall submit a written report to EPGMD that describes the incident, its cause, the measures being taken to correct the problem and prevent its reoccurrence, the owner's intention regarding the repair, replacement and reconstruction of destroyed facilities and a schedule of events leading toward operation within the license condition.
- The issuance of this license does not convey any vested rights or exclusive privileges, nor does it authorize any injury to the public or private property or any invasion of personal rights, or any violation of federal, state or local laws or regulations.
- This license must be available for inspection on the Licensee's premises during the entire life of the license.
- By accepting this license, the Licensee understands and agrees that all records, notes, monitoring data and other information relating to the construction or operation of this licensed facility or activity, that are submitted to the County, may be used by the County as evidence in any enforcement proceeding arising under the Code, except where such use is prohibited by Section 403.111, Florida Statues.
- The Licensee agrees to comply and shall comply with all provisions of the most current version of the Code.
- Any new owner or operator of a licensed facility shall apply by letter for transfer of license within thirty (30) days after sale or legal transfer. The Transferor shall remain liable for performance in accordance with the license until the Transferee applies for and is granted a transfer of license. The Transferee shall be liable for any violation of the Code that results from the Transferee's activities. The Transferee shall comply with the Transferor's original license conditions when the Transferee has failed to obtain its own license.
- The Licensee, by acceptance of this license, specifically agrees to and shall allow EPGMD personnel access to the licensed source, activity or facility for the purposes of inspection and testing to determine compliance with this license and the Code.
- This license does not constitute a waiver or approval of any other license, approval, or regulatory requirement by this or any other governmental agency that may be required.
- Enforcement of the terms and provisions of this license shall be at the reasonable discretion of EPGMD, and any forbearance on behalf of EPGMD to exercise its rights hereunder in the event of any breach by the licensee, shall not be deemed or construed to be a waiver of EPGMD's rights hereunder.
Wellfield Specific Conditions
- Condition 1 requires the licensee to notify the department when a change of inventory has occurred or prior to a change in the facility including cessation of activities and to seek approval prior to that change. A license modification may be required for changes occurring at the facility.
- Condition 2 lists the chemicals containing regulated substances that were reported or discovered at the facility. The chemicals listed are based on the most recent approved inventory. The condition assigns responsibility to the licensee for proper storage of hazardous materials onsite.
- Condition 3 describes the requirements for monitoring wells and samples. The specific number and locations of monitoring wells are described. All wells are to be constructed in accordance with the most recent version of the Pollution Prevention Division's (PPD) Minimum Criteria for Monitoring Well Installation and Sampling. All groundwater samples will be collected in accordance with the most recent version of PPD's Minimum Criteria for Monitoring Well Installation and Sampling. The regulated substances to be analyzed as well as analytical test methods are listed. The deadlines for submitting the water analyses are included in this condition.
- Condition 4 requires the disposal of hazardous material in accordance to Federal, State of Florida, and Broward County requirements. This condition affects licensed hazardous transporters in accordance with Article XVII of the Natural Resource Protection Code (Chapter 27).
- Condition 5 requires the licensee to submit a Spill Prevention and Control Plan Form on the department's form within 30 days from the receipt of an original license. After receiving regulatory approval, the plan is required to be kept at the facility and updated by the licensee as needed.
- Condition 6 contains information about emergency response and reporting requirements for a release of a hazardous material to the environment. Verbal reports are to be made to the Pollution Prevention Division at 954-519-1499. Written reports are to be made to the Pollution Prevention Division.
- Condition 7 requires the licensee to have training for personnel to ensure the facility is operated in accordance with Chapter 27 of the Code of Broward County. The condition describes the content and frequency of the training. Recordkeeping requirements are included in the condition.
- Condition 8 requires the licensee to be responsible for the proper storage, handling, use, production and disposal of all hazardous materials stored at their facility as part of construction, renovation and repair activities by contractors, subcontractors, consultants and other parties. The licensee is required under Condition 1 of this license to notify PPD of an inventory change when hazardous materials used for construction, renovation and repair activities are moved to the facility and when the activities cease. This condition assigns responsibility to the licensee for chemical releases resulting from such activities.
Other conditions may be included in the license. For example, a condition for water treatment plants will include the raw water sampling plan and the requirements for submittal of the water analyses. Facilities with variances will have conditions based on the Final Order of their variance hearing.
Map of Wellfield Zones
In order to determine whether your business is in a wellfield zone of influence you need to examine the wellfield protection map to see if your business is in Zone 1 (area inside the red line) or Zone 2 (area between the red and yellow lines) or Zone 3 (area between the yellow and green lines). An area outside of the green line is outside the wellfield zones of influence. The map on this web site can be magnified for more detail. If you are unable to make this determination, call 954-519-1406 for further information.
Official Map of Wellfield Zones
The Broward County Commission has approved a revision to the wellfield protection ordinance (adopted, June 2013), Chapter 27, Article XIII of the Broward County Code. The ordinance defines the wellfield zones of influence as follows:
- Zone 1 means the wellfield protection area shown on the zones of influence map approved on February 16, 2001 for water wells included on that map, and within 250 feet from an existing water well for wells not included on that map.
- Zone 2 means the wellfield protection area shown on the zones of influence map approved on February 16, 2001 for water wells included on that map, and situated between the outer boundary of Zone 1 and 500 feet from an existing water well for wells not included on that map.
- Zone 3 means the wellfield protection area shown on the zones of influence map approved on February 16, 2001 for water wells included on that map, and situated between the outer boundary of Zone 2 and 1320 feet from an existing water well for wells not included on that map.
Click to enlarge official map of the wellfield zones of influence.
Minimum Criteria for Monitoring Well Installation and Sampling
A copy of the Minimum Criteria for Monitoring Well Installation and Sampling can be found at www.broward.org/pprd/cs_minimum.pdf or you can call our offices at 954-519-1406 for a copy.
The Wellfield Protection Program is designed to protect the public drinking water supplies from hazardous chemicals called regulated substances. A list of the regulated substances is found in Appendix A of Article XIII of the Natural Resource Protection Code (Chapter 27). Facilities that store, use, handle or produce regulated substances in the wellfield zones are required to obtain a Hazardous Material Wellfield License and they are routinely inspected. The license requires recordkeeping, notifications, training, ground water and raw water monitoring and a spill contingency plan.
Spill Prevention and Control Plan Form
A copy of a Spill Prevention and Control Plan can be obtained by downloading an application or you can call our offices at 954-519-1406 for an application.