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Lower High Falls, Talladega Forest - Bill Wilson
Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program

ADEM UIC Class V Well Permit Application Requirements Guidance

Within the past few decades, the realization that subsurface injection could contaminate ground water has prompted many states to develop programs and methods to protect underground sources of useable water. Additionally, to increase ground water protection, a federal Underground Injection Control (UIC) program was established under the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974. This federal program establishes minimum requirements for effective state UIC programs. Alabama has EPA's approval to run the UIC program in the state. Since ground water is a major source of drinking water in Alabama, the UIC program requirements were designed to prevent contamination of Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW) resulting from the operation of injection wells.

What is An Underground Injection Well?
Most of the injection wells regulated by ADEM, are designed much like the gravity flow field lines used to dispose of domestic wastewater from a home. Common uses are for treated discharges from small car washes and laundromats that are located in an area where a public sewer system is not available. There are also treated discharges from small wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential areas, and discharges of treated groundwater from systems designed to cleanup groundwater contamination.

When properly sited, constructed, and operated, injection wells can be an effective and environmentally safe means of fluid waste disposal. There are many different types of injection wells, but they are all similar in their basic function. The federal and Alabama UIC program has grouped injection wells into five categories:

Class I Wells - Injection of pollutants below an USDW. These wells are prohibited by regulation in Alabama

Class II Wells - Injection of wastes from oil & gas productions. The Alabama Oil & Gas Board regulates these types of wells.

Class III Wells - Solution mining of certain minerals. Alabama currently regulates one facility with this type of well. Fresh water is injected to dissolve minerals, such as salt, and the salt solution is used as a raw material in a manufacturing process.

Class IV Wells - Injection of Hazardous Waste above an USDW. These wells are banned nationally by Federal regulations. If any are found, they are required to be closed.

Class V Wells - All other types of wells not regulated as a Class I, II, III or IV well. These make up about 90 % of permitted injection wells in Alabama.

Contact for UIC Permitting - Billie Jean Wascher ( billiejean.wascher@adem.alabama.gov)
Contact for UIC Compliance - Jessica Spence ( jessica.spence@adem.alabama.gov)