About the Program

Drinking Water Aquifers
Many of Norwalk’s residents rely on ground water for all or part of their drinking water supply. An aquifer can be defined as "any geologic formation (rock or sediment) capable of storing water and can yield a usable amount of water."  Ground water has the potential to be contaminated by polluted surface waters.  At particular risk of contamination are the shallow sand and gravel aquifers that supply large public drinking water supply wells.

The Aquifer Protection Area Program focuses on aquifers that are used for public drinking water supply wells - currently there is not a similar program that focuses on other aquifers that supply individual private well users. 

The Norwalk First District Water Department owns and operates drinking water wells that draw from a shallow sand and gravel aquifer. The surrounding area of land that contributes water to these wells has been determined and is the defined Aquifer Protection Area for these drinking water wells.

The Connecticut Aquifer Protection Area Program was established 1989 by the state legislature to help identify these critical water supply aquifer areas and to protect them from pollution by managing land use. It is regulated by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

Local APA Responsibilities
The Norwalk Aquifer Protection Area Agency adopted local Aquifer Protection Area regulations in June of 2009. These APA regulations became effective August 11, 2009.

The APA regulations identify 28 higher-risk activities that are considered regulated activities. These regulated activities are activities that have the real potential to contaminate ground water.

General Agency Regulations
Within the Aquifer Protection Area (APA), any commercial or industrial business conducting regulated activities in the Aquifer Protection Area must be registered with the City and follow best management practices designed to minimize the possibility of cause ground water contamination. Registration by these businesses is mandatory to retain their right to operate the regulated activity. Registration will also maintain the ability to change regulated activities at a facility in the future.  Properties within the APA that do not currently have a registered business located on the premises are prohibited from future establishment of any business that conducts regulated activities.

Learn more about Norwalk's Aquifer Protection Agency regulations.