a protection area is the surface and subsurface area surrounding
the water well or well field of a public water system. In general,
three different zones with different criteria for operations
and land use to protect the raw water against contamination.
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Groundwater Source Protection Zones (SPZs)
are defined for groundwater sources (wells, boreholes
and springs) used for public drinking water supply. The
SPZ provide an indication of the risk to groundwater supplies,
for which SPZ have been defined, that may result from potentially
polluting activities and accidental releases of pollutants.
Generally the closer the activity or release is to a groundwater
source the greater the risk. Three zones (an inner, outer
and total catchment) are usually defined although a fourth
zone (zone of special interest) is occasionally defined.
To define a zone it is necessary to know how the groundwater
behaves in that area and how the groundwater abstraction
is constructed and operated. The shape and size of the zones
is controlled by many factors. Some of these reflect natural
ground (hydrogeological) conditions, other environmental
factors and the operation of the groundwater abstraction.