If you drink water, it comes from a well or spring (groundwater sources) or a river or lake (surface water sources). Drinking water in North Carolina is generally safe, but it can become polluted if we are not careful and it's not just drinking water. All water sources need to be protected. Many of the things we do in our homes and on our farms can pollute our water and the environment. Poorly maintained or designed septic systems and stormwater runoff from our homes and animal waste systems can pollute surface and groundwater. Pesticides, fertilizers, fuels, and cleaning products can contaminate our water when they are not stored and handled properly.

It is nearly impossible to get pollutants out of water once they get there. Expensive treatments, closures of bodies of water, or new wells would be required to get safe drinking water again. Clearly, it is much more effective to keep pollutants out of water than to try to clean it up afterward.

People who have their own wells or springs for drinking water need to be especially aware of pollution sources because their water is not tested for contaminants as is city water. This is called wellhead protection and involves careful attention to the activities near your well to be sure the water remains safe. However, everyone is responsible for protecting drinking water supplies, whether it is their own or their neighbors'.

The North Carolina Home*A*Syst/Farm*A*Syst/Coast*A*Syst programs have a series of publications that can help you be a good environmental steward and also protect the health and well-being of your family. These publications lead you through an evaluation of your home and property to determine pollution and health risks. If there is a problem or a potential problem, the Home*A*Syst/Farm*A*Syst/Coast*A*Syst publications have information about how to solve the problems. The publications also list the North Carolina state agencies responsible for helping you solve your particular problem.

The goal of the North Carolina Home*A*Syst/Farm*A*Syst/Coast*A*Syst program is to help protect the health of you and your family and the environment of North Carolina.


Additional information on stormwater management can be found at the Stormwater Resources webpage: Real estate professionals, homeowners, and elected officials can learn more about stormwater best management practices that can be implemented to reduce pollutants entering water sources through stormwater runoff.


For those who would like information on how to manage forests and protect water quality, please go to this website:

Contact: The Program Coordinator