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Aquifer Protection Area Program

NEW!  Aquifer Protection Area Interactive Map

This new map displays Connecticut's Aquifer Protection Areas (APAs) using an interactive GIS mapping tool. The map shows the towns in the program and the Aquifer Protection Areas for which they are responsible. The map contains layers that allow the user to zoom to view the APA mapped boundary and the parcels within that boundary. The map may be viewed using the base map, the imagery map with labels, the streets map, and the topographic map. Each Aquifer Protection Area, when selected, provides a pop-up box containing information and data for that area. The map is best viewed using Google Chrome or Firefox.

Aquifer Protection Area Interactive Map

Online Aquifer Protection Area Program Technical Training for Municipal Officials

APA TrainingThis FREE, online course was custom built to assist municipal Aquifer Protection Agencies and staff meet the training requirements under the Aquifer Protection Act. The course is designed as an overview of the regulatory requirements for local implementation, and instructs agency members and staff responsible for knowing the law and assists them in complying with the law.

To gain access to the course, complete the online Course Request Form. Shortly after your submission, you will be emailed login details for the CT Education Academy, the State’s workforce training platform, where you will access the course.

If you need technical support, you may contact the CT Education Academy Support Team at the Charter Oak State College our partner in developing this course.

Featured educational video: What is an Aquifer?  (Length: 6 minutes)

The video puts a spotlight on the importance of drinking water supply aquifers and unlocks the mystery of our fragile, hidden water resource. The video shows the viewer how an aquifer holds water, how it can be contaminated, and how the water can be cleaned of contamination. It strives to inform all citizens that Connecticut's groundwater requires careful stewardship if we are to continue enjoying an abundant and clean supply. 

Featured article: Teamwork Key to Success for Bristol's Aquifer Protection Area Program

Featured technical guidebook: Connecticut's Aquifer Protection Area Program Municipal Manual

This manual provides Connecticut's Municipal Aquifer Protection Agencies with comprehensive technical guidance and reference materials needed to regulate aquifer protection areas.


Program Basics

Connecticut’s Aquifer Protection Area Program protects major public water supply wells in sand and gravel aquifers to ensure a plentiful supply of public drinking water for present and future generations.  Aquifer Protection Areas (sometimes referred to as “wellhead protection areas”) are being designated around the state’s 127 active well fields in 80 Towns in sand and gravel aquifers that serve more than 1000 people.  Land use regulations will be established in those areas to minimize the potential for contamination of the well field. The regulations restrict development of certain new land use activities that use, store, handle or dispose of hazardous materials and requires existing regulated land uses to register and follow best management practices.

The Aquifer Protection Area Program responsibilities are shared by the state DEEP, the municipalities and the water companies.

DEEP is responsible for overall program administration, establishing state land use regulations and standards, approving aquifer protection area maps and local regulations, and developing guidance materials.  In addition to program administration, DEEP:

  • assists municipal aquifer protection agencies with implementation
  • provides training for the local officials and aquifer protection agency members
  • directly regulate major facilities, state facilities and public service companies (utilities) located within the aquifer protection areas
  • educates the public about ground water protection.

Municipalities in the program play the most critical role.  They are responsible for appointing an aquifer protection agency, inventorying land uses within the aquifer protection area, designating the aquifer protection area boundary, and adopting and implementing local land use regulations. The agency regulates land use activities within the aquifer protection area by:

  • registering existing regulated activities
  • issuing permits for new regulated activities
  • overseeing regulated facilities
  • educating their citizens on ground water protection.

Water companies are required to map, using methods specified in state mapping regulations, the critical recharge areas of the aquifer which provide water to the well fields.  The preliminary (Level B) mapping has been completed for all the well fields, providing a general estimate of the critical areas.  This preliminary mapping is refined by the water companies using extensive, site-specific data and ground-water modeling to determine the final (Level A) mapping area.  The final mapping defines the regulatory boundaries for the land use regulations. In addition to mapping, the water companies:

  • assist towns with their protection programs and oversight of the aquifer protection area
  • conduct well field monitoring to warn of contamination
  • plan for land acquisition and protection around well fields.

Specific information may be found at the links below:

Contact information:

If you have questions or for further information on the program, please contact us at:

Aquifer Protection Area Program
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse
Land and Water Resources Division
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

Phone: (860) 424-3019
Fax: (860) 424-4054

For a list of municipal contacts, see Connecticut Aquifer Protection Agency Directory

For a list of water company contacts, see water company contact list.

For additional source water protection information, see the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Source Water Protection Program.

Content last updated on January 20, 2020.