TITLE 46
Waters and Navigation

CHAPTER 46-13.1
Groundwater Protection

SECTION 46-13.1-3


§ 46-13.1-3 Definitions.

The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context shall indicate another or different meaning or intent:

(1) "Aquifer" means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation capable of yielding a significant amount of groundwater to wells, springs, or surface water.

(2) "Bedrock" means the solid rock, commonly called "ledge," that forms the earth's crust.

(3) "Contaminant" means any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter in water which impairs its intended or feasible use.

(4) "Degradation" means a deterioration or a decline in ambient water quality.

(5) "Director" means the director of the state department of environmental management.

(6) "Groundwater" means water found underground which completely fills the open spaces between particles of sand, gravel, clay, silt, and consolidated rock fractures. The zone of materials filled with groundwater is called the "zone of saturation".

(7) "Groundwater recharge" means the processes of addition of water to the zone of saturation, that zone beneath the water table.

(8) "Maximum contaminant level" means the maximum permissible level of a contaminant present in the water determined at a point of entry into the distribution system and at any point in the distribution system.

(9) "Nondegradation" means maintenance of ambient water quality.

(10) "Preventive action limit" means a specified percentage of a maximum contaminant level.

(11) "Recharge area" means an area in which water is absorbed that eventually reaches the zone of saturation.

(12) "Residence time" means the length of time a given unit volume of water (including any contaminant in that water) is present in a hydrologic system.

(13) "Special protection area" means a designation which would delineate a recharge area within a groundwater reservoir which is particularly critical for the maintenance of large volumes of high quality groundwater for long periods of time.

(14) "Toxic pollutant" means a water contaminant or combination of water contaminants in concentration(s) which, upon exposure, ingestion, or assimilation, either directly from the environment or indirectly through food chains, will unreasonably threaten to injure human health, or the health of animals or plants which are commonly hatched, bred, cultivated, or protected for use by persons for food or economic benefit.

(15) "Water quality criteria" means a designated concentration of a constituent that, when not exceeded, will protect an organism, an organism community, or a prescribed water use or quality.

(16) "Water table" means the upper surface of groundwater in the saturated zone of an aquifer system. The level of the water table fluctuates with varying rates of recharge and pumpage.

(17) "Wellhead protection area" means the surface and subsurface area surrounding a public well or wellfield through which water will move toward and reach that well or wellfield.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1985, ch. 494, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 298, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 320, § 5.)