The water that surrounds us - lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers - makes up our drinking water sources. These source waters can be threatened by potential contaminants, such as hazardous chemicals, stormwater runoff, waste disposal sites and underground storage tanks. Source water protection refers to focused management of drinking water sources, which includes efforts designed to prevent pollution entering Missouri's groundwater, streams, lakes and reservoirs that are used as raw water sources.

Missouri's Source Water Protection Program is designed to ensure Missouri's drinking water is safe, not just at the tap, but at its source. The department is initiating the program as part of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. This voluntary program supports local efforts to protect drinking water sources, while offering public water systems an opportunity to learn about a broad range of approaches to protect their water supply. It also points water suppliers to funding and other available resources.

Protect Your Source Water

Here are some simple steps you can take to help protect our drinking water sources.

  • Dispose of household and other chemicals properly. Don't pour chemicals on the ground or down the sink drain, toilet or storm drain.
  • Take used motor oil to the recycling center.
  • Use only recommended amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Have your unused wells properly closed.
  • Pump and inspect your septic tank regularly.
  • Plant vegetation on bare spots of soil, particularly on slopes, preventing erosion and excessive runoff of sediments into nearby water bodies.
  • Become involved in drinking water protection activities in your community.

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