Water Issues

Source Water Assessment and Protection

Source Water Assessment and Protection program information for public water supplies

Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Program

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Groundwater (ICCG), chaired by Illinois EPA, the Groundwater Advisory Council (GAC), and four Priority Groundwater Protection Planning Committees (designated by Illinois EPA) coordinate the implementation and development of groundwater assessment and protection programs. For example, the Pesticide Subcommittee of the ICCG developed Illinois Generic Pesticide Management Plan for the Protection of Groundwater. Details on these efforts can be obtained from the ICCG’s Biennial report.

Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit and Illinois EPA Section 401 Water Quality Certification

Construction projects in Illinois waterways, floodplains and wetlands often require both State and Federal authorization. A joint application packet is available at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for project authorizations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Illinois EPA. The instructions include information about each agency’s requirements, including the Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant Program

Nonpoint source pollution occurs when water run-off picks up pollutants and carries the pollutants to lakes, rivers, and groundwater. Grants for this program, also known as Section 319, are available to implement corrective or preventative projects. The Section 319 Nonpoint Source Livestock Projects web page contains a summary of two grant projects implemented for the agricultural industry. Additional information about this program is available at the Nonpoint Source web page. Nonpoint Source Pollution Control/Section 319 grant forms are available online.

Private Wells

The Illinois Department of Public Health provides a variety of fact sheets about private wells. U.S. EPA’s web page, Private Drinking Water Wells, offers information about testing and protecting private wells.

Fish Contaminant Monitoring

Fish are able to accumulate contaminants and are thus a key indicator for determining water quality. Contaminant levels in fish are monitored through a cooperative effort between the Illinois Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Nuclear Safety, Public Health, and the Illinois EPA. This effort is commonly referred to as the Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program (FCMP).

Fish Advisories in Illinois

Because some fish have become contaminated with chemicals, Illinois has established fish advisories for certain bodies of water in the state. These advisories are issued by the Illinois Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program (IFCMP), which consists of staff from the departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Nuclear Safety, and Public Health, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. A copy of the current fish advisory can be obtained where fishing licenses are sold.

Illinois Council on Best Management Practices

The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (C-BMP) is a coalition of agribusiness, agricultural organizations, and University of Illinois Extension. The council serves as a clearinghouse on current research to protect water quality in Illinois. The council provides information and support to local watershed groups and cooperates with water quality initiatives.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

Total Maximum Daily Load determines the greatest amount of a given pollutant that a water body can receive without violating water quality standards and designated uses. TMDLs set pollution reduction goals that are necessary to improve the quality of impaired waters.

Well Sealing

Well sealing is defined as the sealing and permanent closure of a well no longer in use.

General Storm Water Permit

You will need a General Storm Water Permit for Construction Activities if your construction project disturbs 1 or more acres of land through clearing, grading, or excavating.