Source Water Protection Program

About the Program

The City of Dayton Source Water Protection Program is a multi-jurisdictional approach to guarding the public water supply for 400,000 customers in Dayton and Montgomery County.

The City of Dayton developed and implemented the comprehensive Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) through a 1985 Memorandum of Understanding with the Ohio EPA. The program was and is designed to identify and mitigate risk to the sustainability of the region's sole source aquifer system, which serves as the City's drinking water source. Source Water logo

SWPP is a multi-jurisdictional effort including six regional governmental partners. It is a national and international model of innovative water resource management and protection, and is currently used by the Ohio EPA as one of the most significant case studies on how to develop and implement a comprehensive and successful source water protection program.
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Review & Update

In 2013, the City of Dayton initiated a thorough review and update to the Source Water Protection Program, to ensure the program remains current. As a result, on July 29, 2015, the City Commission approved a new Source Water Protection Program Zoning and Water Protection Ordinance Amendments incorporating many technological and administrative enhancements learned through decades of managing the City's well fields.

As an outcome of this process, Dayton's protection program was strengthened. Using science and 26 years of experience gained by our professional staff and consultants, Dayton has a multi-barrier protection program. The updates continue preventive efforts and the removal of contamination from the groundwater.

EPA Guidelines

To meet the Ohio EPA Source Water Protection guidelines, Dayton has added a five-year time of travel to allow risk reduction and protective strategies to be extended into the Water Resource Area (an area outside of the existing Source Water Protection Area). These amendments enhance the existing protection program with additional staff, technical consulting services, and increased groundwater monitoring capabilities.

Major Elements

The Major Elements of the Source Water Protection Program include:
  • Land Use and Control Zoning
  • Financial Incentives
    • Risk Point Buy Down
    • Grants
    • 0% Interest Loans
    • Application for requests under $10,000
  • Business Inspections
  • Chemical Inventory Reporting
  • Groundwater Monitoring, Time-Critical Investigations, Groundwater/Surface Water Studies
  • Emergency Response
  • Multi-Jurisdictional Program
    • Staff to Assist Businesses and Realtors
  • Education and Community Outreach
    • Community Presentations
    • Children's Water Festival
    • Business Newsletter, Workshops
    • Schools and Universities


The Multi-Jurisdictional Source Water Protection Program (SWPP) encompasses Dayton, Harrison Township, Riverside, Vandalia, Huber Heights, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Revised Code of General Ordinances

The Source Water Protection Program in the City of Dayton's Revised Code of General Ordinances (R.C.G.O.) includes provisions in the Water Department Section, primarily Chapter 53, and in the Zoning Section, Chapter 150. The SWPP was originally adopted in August of 1988, and has been amended over the years. The SWPP was written to promote groundwater risk reduction while encouraging economic development.