Keeping Our Groundwater Safe

The Elkhart County Groundwater Protection Ordinance (GWPO) was first adopted in 1989 and fully implemented in 1990. The ordinance was developed to provide a measure of protection to the ground water that did not exist at the time. The goal of the ordinance was and continues to be to fill the gaps in regulations as they relate to the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous or toxic materials.

Environmentalists from the Environmental Health Services Division monitor how chemicals are stored, used and disposed of in the operation of over 2500 industrial and manufacturing facilities in the county. An educational approach is taken to advise the management of violations of the Elkhart County GWPO requirements as well as observed State and Federal Violations. Failure to correct violations can result in fines, penalties, and referral to the appropriate state or federal agency.

The GWPO applies to any facility, which has either:

  1. On-site wastewater disposal system (i.e. septic system, drywells, lagoons, drains, etc.) and or
  2. Toxic or hazardous materials exceeding 100 kilograms (approximately 25 gallons) stored on-site per month.

For more basic GWPO requirements and a copy of the registration form that may be used to register your facility with the Elkhart County Health Department, see the Groundwater Registration Brochure.

This ordinance has a 10-year sunset clause that requires a review of the ordinance by an advisory board to determine its effectiveness and what if any changes should be made. The ordinance was last reviewed and reauthorized in April of 2014 and enacted on May 1, 2014.

Environmental Health Services also offers the capability for contractors, consultants, and the general public to research records on over 5,000 facilities, in addition to known groundwater contamination sites and hazardous and toxic chemical spills that have occurred in Elkhart County. Click here for a copy of a Records Request and fill-out and submit to Elkhart County Health Department-Environmental Health Services at 4230 Elkhart Road, Goshen, IN 46526, or fax to (574) 971-4600.

Please feel free to email our staff: