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Best management practices, Edwards aquifer, karst aquifer, water quality, aquifer recharge zone


Karst aquifers are vulnerable to contamination from hazardous pollutants that can harm drinking water supplies, species inhabiting aquifers and springs, and other karst water resources. This paper presents best management practices (BMPs) designed for use by first responders, and for use in developing training curricula and tools to assist first responders in protecting karst water resources. Training and tools based on the BMPs will help first responders prevent or reduce runoff of potentially hazardous materials that can rapidly enter an aquifer during firefighting and other responses to emergencies in locations where hazardous materials are stored, such as in retail centers, warehouses, industrial and agricultural facilities, and in vehicles and rail cars along transportation corridors. Emergencies can include fire caused by accident or arson, terrorist attack, flood, high wind, lightning, and explosion in structures and transport vehicles. BMPs are provided for preplanning, response during an emergency, and cleanup after an event. Future work will include these BMPs in first responder training curricula and a georeferenced database that will include recommendations for protective action in areas containing karst features where hazardous materials may be present.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Schindel, G.M. and R.A. Rosen. (2021). Best Management Practices for Firefighting in the Karstic Edwards (Balcones Fault Zone) Aquifer of South-Central Texas. Texas Water Journal, pp. 1-9.