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Animal Feeding Operations Unit. Land Application Unit. Groundwater Protection Unit. Groundwater Planning Unit. Groundwater Investigation Unit (DWQ Drill Team). AQUIFER PROTECTION SECTION. Protecting North Carolina’s Water Resources. Cattle. Swine. Poultry. Horses.

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aquifer protection section

Animal Feeding Operations Unit

  • Land Application Unit
  • Groundwater Protection Unit
  • Groundwater Planning Unit
  • Groundwater Investigation Unit
  • (DWQ Drill Team)

Protecting North Carolina’s Water Resources

animal feeding operations unit


  • Swine
  • Poultry
  • Horses
Animal Feeding Operations Unit

Permitting and Compliance For Animal Operations


Spray Field

Swine Houses

animal feeding operations unit3

Permit Numbers







Animal Feeding Operations Unit

Distribution and Numbers of Permitted Animal Operations

animal feeding operations unit4
Lagoon Condition:



Proper Waste Level Marker

Vegetative Cover

Freeboard Level

Overall Condition


Crops – Type and Condition

Irrigation System/equipment

Application Area

Evidence of or potential for discharge

Subsurface Drains

Animal Feeding Operations Unit

Compliance Inspections

animal feeding operations unit5
Animal Feeding Operations Unit

Performance Standards for New

or Expanding Swine Farms

  • Eliminate discharge of animal waste
  • Substantially eliminate ammonia emissions
  • Substantially eliminate odor
  • Substantially eliminate disease transmitters and airborne pathogens
  • Substantially eliminate nutrient and heavy metal contamination
land application unit

Surface Irrigation (Spray/Drip)

  • High Rate Infiltration
  • Reclaimed Water Utilization
  • Land Application of Residuals
  • Closed-Loop Recycle Systems
Land Application Unit

Permitting and Compliance For Non-Discharge Systems:


Land Application Unit

Program Benefits

  • Allows wastewater treatment and disposal while avoiding a surface discharge
    • Part of a successful NPDES program
  • Reuses a waste as a beneficial product
    • Conservation of potable water resources
    • Supplement to fertilizer products
  • Protects human health and the environment
    • Disposal based on hydraulics and nutrient loading
    • Must meet surface water and groundwater quality standards
land application unit8
Land Application Unit
  • The beneficial reuse of treated wastewater resulting in conservation of the State’s water resources
    • Golf Course Irrigation
    • Irrigation of parks and common areas
    • Industrial process or cooling water
    • Dust suppression and soil compaction
    • Toilet flushing and fire protection in commercial/industrial facilities

Reclaimed Water Utilization

groundwater protection unit
Groundwater Protection Unit
  • Underground Injection Control Program
  • Single Family Residence Permitting
  • Groundwater Remediation System Permitting
  • Well Construction Compliance & Enforcement
groundwater protection unit10
Groundwater Protection Unit
  • Most heat pump wells
  • In situ groundwater remediation
  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery
  • Tracer injections
  • Closed-loop groundwater remediation (“Non-discharge” permit required)

Injection Wells Requiring Permits

groundwater protection unit11
Groundwater Protection Unit
  • Subsurface system rejected (hydraulically limited)
    • County Health Department
    • On-Site Wastewater (Division of Environmental Health)
  • Wastewater systems specifically designed for single-family residences.
  • Controlled surface application of wastewater effluent on vegetated land surface.

Single Family Systems Requiring Non-Discharge Permits

groundwater protection unit12
Groundwater Protection Unit

Well Construction Compliance & Enforcement

  • More than half of North Carolina residents rely on ground water as their sole water source.
  • Standards for well construction can be found in 15A NCAC 02C.
  • Compliance and enforcement of well construction standards are part of DWQ’s overall pollution prevention strategy
groundwater planning unit
Groundwater Planning Unit

Improve and prioritize groundwater quality protection by:

  • Resource Characterization & Monitoring
  • Regulatory Program Studies
  • Contaminated Site Investigations
groundwater planning unit14
Groundwater Planning Unit

Resource Characterization And Monitoring Goals

  • Determine & monitor ambient groundwater quality
  • Identify factors that affect contaminant movement
  • Identify natural hazards in groundwater quality

Probability of obtaining groundwater with arsenic >0.001 mg/L

groundwater planning unit15
Groundwater Planning Unit

Goals of Regulatory Program Studies

  • Determine groundwater quality impacts of human activities
  • Determine effectiveness of regulations & BMPs

Nitrate concentrations and groundwater ages beneath fields fertilized with swine lagoon effluent and conventional fertilizer.

groundwater planning unit16
Groundwater Planning Unit

Contaminated Site Investigation Goals:

  • Identify source of contamination
  • Determine factors affecting movement of the contamination
  • Recommend ways to minimize exposure
  • Identify alternative water supplies

DWQ delineation of groundwater nitrate plume at a subdivision developed on a former agricultural site

groundwater investigations unit
Groundwater Investigations Unit

Support Resource Characterization, Monitoring, and Contamination Investigations by:

  • Construction of monitoring wells
  • Logistical and technical support for geophysical logging, aquifer tests, and groundwater sampling