Project Announced to Expand Groundwater Protection Data Regionwide
Updates to Wellhead Protection Viewer and Potential Contamination Source Inventory Coming this Fall
The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Tri-County), on behalf of the East Lansing-Meridian Water and Sewer Authority (ELMWSA), is pleased to announce the kickoff of a new project to update the Wellhead Protection Viewer, an online mapping resource for the region, and the corresponding data for potential contamination source locations. This project will help communities in Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties protect their drinking water at its source and support them in achieving their FY 2019 Wellhead Protection Grant deliverables for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.
The Wellhead Protection Viewer is an online mapping tool that provides a variety of data, such as well locations, time of travel areas, brownfields, and potential contamination source locations, to municipalities and planners so they can be properly informed when making development decisions that may affect regional groundwater resources. Because many communities share the same groundwater sources for their drinking water, this data is a valuable resource to not only the city of East Lansing and Meridian Township, but the entire region. By utilizing this data, particularly the potential contamination source inventory, ELMWSA and other communities can identify the locations at greatest risk for groundwater contamination and work with planners and city officials to help prevent or work toward resolving possible sources of pollution at these locations.
In early March, Tri-County issued a Request for Proposals seeking a consultant to assist with collecting new data for this initiative. In April, OHM Advisors were chosen to complete the project updates for the region. Once the updates to the potential contamination source inventory and the Wellhead Protection Viewer are complete, several training and educational materials will be provided to local municipalities, utilities, and policy makers, demonstrating how it can be used to help make more informed decisions.
The Wellhead Protection Viewer updates are anticipated to be complete by mid-fall and will provide an advantage for communities both large and small by improving their access to regional data, encouraging local leaders to make informed decisions about our drinking water resources, and increasing their competitiveness for additional groundwater funding opportunities in the future.