Wellhead Protection (WHP) is a planning and management approach for preventing contamination of public water supply wells. The objective of Highland Township’s program is to control or manage all potential sources of contamination within a designated area surrounding the well or well field. The wellhead protection area is that part of the landscape that contributes to water that could eventually reach the pumping well. If this contaminated water reaches a pumping well then you have a contaminated well. Highland Township has currently delineated the Prestwick Village, Highland Valley, Bretton Oaks and Huntwood Place Wellhead Protection Areas.

Wellhead protection is a comprehensive program that can be broken down into seven parts.

1. Assembling a Wellhead Protection Team.
Nearly everyone in your community (and many outside of it) has some stake in the protection of our water supply. This team consists of a representative from the Fire Chief of Highland, local homeowner, local business owner, Oakland County Drain Commission, Huron Valley School Board, Highland Township Supervisor, and a representative from a neighboring community.

2. Wellhead protection area (delineation area) determined.
Delineation is the process of creating a map that shows the movement of ground water in the area. It tells you which direction the ground water moves and how fast it travels. Through delineating the wellhead protection area you will know which area of land is most crucial to protect in order to protect the ground water, which provides water for a home or business.

3. Inventory of Potential Sources of Contamination
This is a process of inventorying the land uses in a delineated wellhead protection area that have the potential to threaten ground water safety. The inventory includes both existing and potential sources of contamination. It is important to understand that not all of these potential sources will actually cause contamination by any means, but the risk still exists.

4. Management Strategies for the Wellhead Protection Program
The goal of the management plan is to specify how actual and potential sources of contamination in a wellhead protection area will be managed in order to prevent them from reaching the aquifer or drinking water source.

5. Contingency Plan
Contingency plans address how to protect an aquifer or drinking water source and what to do if contamination causes a well field to be polluted.

6. Siting of New Water Walls
Siting of new water wells addresses the need for drilling new public water wells as a long-term water supply option. This is to handle population growth or if the need arises to utilize another aquifer or water source.

7. Public Education Program
Public education program is just that, an effort to educate the entire community of Highland Township. This effort will include the web site, school programs, mailings and materials made available at the Township Hall. Look for signs on our roads indicating you’ve entered the wellhead protection zone.