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Island County > Planning > Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas

What are Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas?

An aquifer is a permeable subsurface soil or rock layer that is capable of storing, transmitting and supplying a significant amount of ground water to wells or springs. Critical aquifer recharge areas are areas that have been identified as having a critical effect on aquifers used for potable water and as being highly susceptible to groundwater contamination. Island County is a sole source aquifer , meaning that potable water comes only from groundwater. So in this case, a goal of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) is to preserve, protect, and conserve Island County's groundwater resources for a wide variety of current and future uses from contamination.


Is your property located in a Critical Aquifer Recharge Area?  

To find out, click on this link to view a map. 



Diagram of an aquifer. (Source: USGS)