Chapter 18.37



            18.37.010        Purpose and findings.

            18.37.020        Definitions.

            18.37.030        Aquifer protection overlay district.

            18.37.040        Lands to which regulations apply.

            18.37.050        Compliance.

            18.37.060        Regulations.


18.37.010  Purpose and findings.

A.  The purpose of the aquifer protection overlay district is to protect, preserve and maintain the quality of the groundwater that provides a substantial portion of the town’s water supply through regulation of certain land uses and activities in the areas over the groundwater reservoirs and recharge areas. The requirements applicable to the overlay district are in addition to those of the underlying district. In the case of a conflict between the requirements of the underlying district and those of the overlay district, the requirements of the overlay district shall apply.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94 (part); Ord. dated 8-12-14)


B.  The aquifer protection overlay district is based on the groundwater classification system developed by the Rhode Island department of environmental management under the authority of Rhode Island Groundwater Protection Act of 1985.

(Ord. dated 8-12-14)


C.  The United States environmental protection agency in accordance with section 1424(e) of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 has designated the Pawcatuck basin as a sole source aquifer. 

(Ord. dated 8-12-14)


18.37.020  Definitions.

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.


GAA is a classification used by the department of environmental management for a groundwater source that provides water suitable for public drinking without treatment.


Groundwater means underground water that 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.


Groundwater quality classification is the system the department of environmental management uses to classify water as usable for particular purposes based on its physical, chemical, and hydrological characteristics.


Groundwater recharge means the processes by which water is added to the zone of saturation.


Recharge area means the land surface from which water is added to the zone of saturation.


A sole source aquifer is an aquifer designated by the environmental protection agency as the only source of more than fifty percent of the drinking water for the area above the aquifer. 


Water table means the surface of groundwater in the saturated zone of an aquifer. The level of a water table fluctuates with varying rates of recharge and withdrawal.

(Ord. dated 8-12-14)


18.37.030  Aquifer protection overlay district.  The boundaries of the aquifer protection  overlay district coincide with the boundaries of the GAA groundwater quality classification, including the groundwater reservoir and associated recharge areas, delineated on a map prepared by the department of environmental management, office of water resources, groundwater quality rules, and adopted in June 2010. The boundaries shown on that map are identical to the overlay district boundaries on the official zoning map.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94 (part); Ord. dated 8-12-14)


18.37.040  Lands to which regulations apply.  The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to all land within aquifer protection districts. 

(Ord. dated 12-19-94 (part); Ord. dated 8-12-14)


18.37.050  Compliance.  Within the boundaries of aquifer protection districts, no structure shall be erected and no land shall be used except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.  Aquifer protection districts shall be superimposed as an overlay on existing zoning districts.  The building inspector shall determine when the overlay map of aquifer protection districts and its requirements regulate the granting of a building permit within said district(s). The location of the principal structure or use shall determine the application of overlay requirements.

(Ord. dated 12-19-94(part); Ord. dated 8-12-14)


18.37.060  Regulations. The special requirements of this Chapter shall be in addition to all the other applicable provisions of the town zoning ordinance within aquifer protection districts.


A.  Subsurface Disposal of Domestic Sewage.  Sanitary wastewater discharge into on-site septic systems (ISDS) shall not average more than three hundred fifty gallons per acre per day.


B.  Industrial, Commercial and Flex Tech Uses.  Industrial, commercial and Flex Tech uses shall be subject to development plan review by the planning board and any restrictions or requirements imposed by the planning board upon approval of the site plan shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of section 18.54.100.

      1.     In addition to the site plan requirements of section 18.54.100, the site plan shall be accompanied by a report which includes the following information:

            a.   Amount and composition of industrial or commercial wastes including fly-ash, and proposed methods of disposal of such wastes outside of the aquifer protection district;

            b.   Amount and composition of any hazardous materials, including, but not limited to, hazardous materials identified by section 3001 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, that are handled, transported, stored or discharged to the ground or air at the site.


C.  Prohibited Uses.

      1.   Road salt storage and loading;

      2.   Solid waste disposal;

      3.   Septage disposal;

      4.   All commercial or industrial uses which involve the use or storage of hazardous materials.

 (Ord. dated 12-19-94 (part); Ord. dated 11-16-02 (part); Ord. dated 8-12-14)



Title 46, chapter 13.1 of the general laws; §§ 45-24-30(3)(i), (4); 45-24-33(a)(7), (20).



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