Critical Aquifer Recharge Area

Much of Issaquah's drinking water comes from groundwater wells. These wells are located close to downtown, near many of Issaquah's business. To help prevent groundwater pollution, aquifer protection is regulated under the city's Critical Aquifer Recharge Area (CARA) Ordinance IMC 13.29.

CARA Classes

Businesses located within CARA Class 1 or 2 (PDF) are subject to these rules. The city enforces these regulations through the review of permits, business licenses and physical site inspections.

If you are located in the CARA Class 1 or 2, your business is required to do the following as part of storing and handling hazardous materials:

  • Prepare Hazardous Material Inventory (HMI)
  • Develop a spill response plan and have cleanup materials on hand
  • Keep all hazardous materials in secondary containment
  • Periodically monitor your storage areas
  • Keep records of waste disposal

More information is available in our brochure (PDF).