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 Nevada Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Back BSDW Home Page   

Why have a Source Water Assessment Program?

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 required states to develop and implement Source Water Assessment Programs (SWAP) to analyze existing and potential threats to the quality of the public drinking water throughout the state. Source water is the groundwater or surface water that provides drinking water for a public water system.

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water (BSDW), is the agency with primacy for development and implementation of the state of Nevada SWAP program. Primacy designation by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows states to administer SWAP programs within their respective states.

The 1996 amendments required the state of Nevada to delineate the areas that are sources of public drinking water, identify potential contaminant sources within the delineated area, assess the water systems' susceptibility to contamination, and to inform the public of the results.

The law is intended to promote the source water protection programs and to focus on the highest risks to drinking water sources. Publications produced by Nevada's SWAP program include summaries for water system consumer confidence reports (CCR) and assessment reports of each water system.

What is performed in Nevada's Source Water Assessment Program?

    Nevada's Source Water Assessment Program consists of a 4 step program:
  • Step 1: Determine the water system sources and delineate the assessment area. In the case of wells the assessment area is the capture area or area near the well that is within 2 year, 5 year, and 10 years of pumping of the well.

  • Step 2: Conduct an inventory of potential sources of contamination with the assessment area of each intake. Potential sources of contamination include those locations or sites that use or store chemicals, water bodies, and natural deposits.

  • Step 3: Determine the contamination vulnerability of each water system source (wells, springs, and intakes) to contaminants. Regulated contaminants include those designated by both the federal government and the state of Nevada.

  • Step 4: Publish the results of the Source Water Assessment Program for each public water system in the form of assessment summaries and reports. Links to published summaries and reports can be found below. The results from the SWAP program can be used in Source Water Protection Programs in the future. These protection programs will enable the protection of valuable sources of public drinking water from potential contamination.

  • View Nevada Source Water Map

What is a public drinking water system?

A public water system means "a system for the provision to the public of water for human consumption through pipes or after August 5, 1998, other constructed conveyances, if such system has at least fifteen service connections or regularly serves an average of a least twenty-five individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year".

Where can I find out about the source water assessment for my water system?

View a list sorted by county of all public water systems that have had a source water assessment. Newly permitted water systems may not have completed assessments. The source water assessment report for the listed water systems may be viewed at the BSDW Carson City office between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is suggested that an appointment be made if you are interested in viewing a report. The BSDW office is located at:

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