Protecting the City's Water Source

Download the Wilmington Source Water Protection Plan here.

Part 1     Part 2     Part 3

Producing safe clean and affordable drinking water involves using a multiple barrier approach comprised of three main interrelated steps; (1) protecting source water supply areas, (2) treating drinking water to standards, and (3) monitoring and maintaining the integrity of the drinking water distribution system to ensure successful delivery to customers. However, the single most important barrier continues to be source water protection for the following reasons (Trust for Public Lands, 2004):

  • The emergence of new contaminants that suppliers may not be prepared to test or treat
  • More frequent spikes in contaminant loads due to storms and flooding that make treatment more challenging
  • Constantly changing standards and regulations regarding new contaminants, which are present in the water long before they are identified as threats to public health
  • Increases treatment and capital costs due to higher pollutant loads and changing water quality standards
  • The loss of natural lands to development impacts not only the quality and quantity of drinking water, but also the cost of treating it.
  • With the loss of natural barriers protecting the source water supply, man‐made or engineered barriers must be introduced in treatment.

The City of Wilmington developed the Source Water Protection Plan (SWP Plan) in order to better protect its water supply for future generations, reduce long term operating costs and carbon footprint, avoid future treatment requirements, improve planning and response to future spills and water quality events, and leverage upstream investments to protect its water supply.

Recognizing the efforts and input of the many dedicated stakeholders in the Brandywine Creek Watershed who have been involved with this SWP Plan is very important. The SWP Plan integrates the significant amount of information from their previous studies and plans. Without the involvement of these stakeholders and the benefit of their previous efforts, this plan would have not been possible.

Contact Public Works

Mailing Address

Department of Public Works
Louis L. Redding City/County Building
800 N. French Street, 6th Floor
Wilmington DE 19801

Phone: (302) 576-3060

Public Works Call Center

Phone: (302) 576-3878



This link takes you to an external website. Combined Sewer Overflows website