Source Water Protection Activity Guide

Quick Select

Use any of the following drop-down menus to navigate through the guide. Choosing a potential contaminant source category from the drop-down menu will narrow your potential contaminant source choices. Choosing a protection activity category from the drop-down menu will narrow your protection activity choices.

Contaminant Type

Potential Contaminant Source Category Potential Contaminant Source

Protection Activity Category Protection Activity

Conservation Buffers: Contour Buffer Strips

Protection Activity: Best Management Practices

Conservation buffers are small areas or strips of land in permanent naturally occurring or planted vegetation that are designed to intercept pollutants and manage other environmental concerns. The vegetation filters out sediments, nutrients, pesticides, and other pollutants before they reach the water body. Conservation buffers can include filter strips, riparian buffers, grass waterways, contour buffer strips, and field borders.

Contour buffer strips are strips of perennial vegetation that alternate downslope from wider cultivated strips and are farmed on the contour. Buffer strip vegetation consists of adapted species of grasses or a mixture of grasses and legumes. Buffer strips established on the contour can significantly reduce sheet and rill erosion, slow runoff, trap sediment, and remove nutrients, pesticides, and other contaminants as they pass through the buffer strip, thereby reducing the potential for increased turbidity in source waters and introduction of other contaminants. 

Resources for this Protection Activity:

Related Sources: