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Wellfield Protection Areas
In Miami-Dade County, our drinking water is drawn from the Biscayne Aquifer, a freshwater-bearing limestone rock formation underneath our feet. This aquifer allows millions of local residents and visitors the benefits of a clean, accessible, and relatively inexpensive source of potable water.
The aquifer is extremely porous and the water table is very close to the surface of the ground, making it vulnerable to pollution. Pollutants that are discharged onto the ground or that occur in surface waters can contaminate the groundwater and be drawn into wells that supply drinking water.
For these reasons, Miami-Dade County oversees programs to protect the Biscayne Aquifer from potential sources of contamination.
To reduce the risk of pollution and the cost of treatment of public water supply, the County works with industry, business and homeowners, especially in specific areas around the network of drinking water wellfields know as wellfield protection areas.
The protection areas are designated based on geological characteristics of the aquifer and the flow of water through it. New activities that use or store hazardous materials or generate hazardous waste are prohibited within certain parts of the wellfield protection areas.
There may also be limitations on extent of excavations within a wellfield protection area, or on septic tank specifications and uses.
If you are purchasing a property or propose operating a business in a protection area and intend to use or store hazardous materials, or the property is served by a septic tank or on-site domestic water well, you should call the County to discuss, and better understand, any prohibitions, limitations or possible exemptions that apply to the property or business.
You may also search for information concerning the environmental characteristics of properties using the Environmental Considerations GIS tool.
For information on general permitting requirements and land use restrictions in wellfield protection areas, call 305-372-6700.
Comment period now open for technical working group report
The comment period for Miami-Dade County Wellfield Technical Working Group (WTWG) Report is now open. Comments are due Sept. 9, 2017.
The report provides consensus recommendations from the WTWG regarding options for addressing the issues and concerns raised by several stakeholders with respect to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) report, "USGS Open File Report 2013-1086: Estimation of Capture Zones and Drawdown at the Northwest and West Well Fields, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Using an Unconstrained Monte Carlo Analysis: Recent (2004) and Proposed Conditions," and the revised wellfield protection area boundaries for the Northwest Wellfield Protection Area and the West Wellfield Protection Area proposed pursuant to the USGS report.
Comments can be emailed to Wilbur Mayorga.
The working group was established under Ordinance 15-25 related to wellfield protection.
Environmental Considerations GIS
Search the Environmental Considerations GIS Map to find out if a property may have any environmental features associated with it.
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