Frequently Asked Questions About Source Water
Where does drinking water come from?
If you live in a large metropolitan area, most of your drinking water probably comes from a surface source such as a lake, stream, river, or reservoir. Sometimes these sources are close to the community, and sometimes they are many miles away.
If you live in a small community or in an isolated area, it's more likely that your water originates underground and is pumped to the surface through a well. Ground water comes from natural underground formations, often consisting of sand or gravel, that contain water. These formations are called aquifers.
If you own a private well, you're responsible for making sure that the water is safe to drink. Private wells are not regulated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) drinking water standards.
|Water Cycle image provided by NASA Oceanography|
This information is adapted from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Source Water Protection Web site found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/safewater/sourcewater/.