Departments > Planning and Zoning > Source Water Protection Ordinance and Overlay District

Source Water Protection Ordinance and Overlay District

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

The Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors amended the Zoning Ordinance by adopting a new section—the Source Water Protection Ordinance and Overlay District—at its Regular Meeting on January 21, 2019. The Township's Zoning Administrator will enforce the new ordinance, which took effect February 20, 2019

Its purpose is to protect residents’ health, safety, and welfare and the Township’s ecosystems, provide protections for sources of public drinking water supplies, and safeguard the future supply of safe and sustaining drinking water. 

View Section 1 of the ordinance to learn more about its intent

The designation of a Source Water Protection Overlay District and regulation of activities within the district are intended to reduce the potential for ground water and surface water contamination and minimize adverse environmental impacts.

Ferguson Township’s Source Water Protection Overlay District is defined as wellhead protection areas surrounding public water supply wells, including Zone I and the Township-Wide Source Water Protection Zone II. Land development plans must comply not only with existing commercial requirements but with the overlay, which is an extra set of ground rules.

See Section 3 of the ordinance for a definition of each zone

In Section 8 of the new ordinance, residents, businesses and potential land developers will find a table of 45 regulated land uses and activities. 
For example, a developer planning a convenience food store with gas stations would not be permitted to build in Zone 1. The store would be permitted in the Township-wide source water protection zone if the developer provides:

A. a detailed description of the storage, handling, use of Regulated Substances and description of the containment structures for hazardous material storage.
B. a detailed description of disposal procedures for Regulated Substances and wastes and name, address and telephone number of any waste haulers used.
C. the site map location of where hazardous materials are stored, handled and used.

This section also includes requirements that apply to Ferguson Township, such as the application of road salt and de-icing materials--noting that “Ferguson Township shall monitor and record amounts of salts or deicing materials applied to township roads during each storm event.”

Section 10 outlines the ordinance’s requirement that all land development plans shall contain a note acknowledging the proposed project location in relation to Appendix A “Source Water Protection Overlay Map” zones that the ordinance is designed to protect. In addition, all land development plans shall note the applicant’s compliance with all state and federal laws regarding chemical storage and use. 

This section reads: “A qualified professional shall review aerial photos, soils, geologic, and other available related data including any Source Water Protection Study or Report, as the data 18 relates to the subject property. The qualified professional shall also conduct a site inspection of the property. Based on the above information, the professional shall prepare a map of the site showing the following:

a. Closed depressions
b. Open sinkholes
c. Seasonal high ponds and streams
d. Intermittent streams
e. Bodies of water or streams
f. Surface drainage patterns
g. Intermittent or vernal ponds
h. Lineaments, faults and fracture traces
i. Excavations and quarries
j. Outcrops of bedrock

While Zone I requirements in this ordinance are very restrictive, farming activity or any other existing use already underway can continue. 
Please adhere to the uses in Table 1 that are not permitted in Zone 1. 

The Board of Supervisors and Source Water Ad Hoc Committee are planning initiatives to educate the community about protecting the Township's groundwater. Details will be provided in our updates to this story.

Source Water Protection Ordinance and Overlay District