City using bitly to help you learn the difference between WHPA and DWSMA

While biking around downtown earlier tonight, I was surprised tonight to see this sign on the 2nd St. bridge:

Sign: Drinking Water Supply Management Area
City of Northfield
Drinking Water Supply Management Area
For more information check our website at

I typed the URL into my smartphone but got bitly’s error page.  When I got back home, I tried several variations and again, no luck:

Something’s wrong here…
Uh oh, bitly couldn’t find a link for the bitly URL you clicked. Most bitly URLs are 4-6 characters, and only include letters and numbers (and are case sensitive).

Ahhh yes, bitly URL’s are case sensitive, even custom ones. So the City’s URL on this sign requires an upper case ‘N’ and upper case ‘WHPA’ in it.  It made me wonder if it would’ve been better for the City to use a QR code on the sign instead.

And in case you’re interested in the difference between WHPA and DWSMA, the sidebar on the City’s webpage says:

DWSMA: Drinking Water Supply Management Area. The area from where rain water and spills may reach the city driking [sic] water wells within ten years.

WHPA: Wellhead Protection Area. An extension of the DWSMA to property boundaries and street centerlines where land use restrictions protect the city’s drinking water.

Still confused? This should help:

This Drinking Water Supply Management Area (DWSMA) is defined only by the local geology, topography, and groundwater flow. The WHPA is based on the DWSMA and extends it outward to property boundaries, and street centerlines to make land use decisions more easily applicable to specific properties.


  1. Griff: in an effort to help the city I have made the QR code for their sign. It took all of two minutes.


    July 3, 2012
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Hayes, that’s helpful but have you seen City Engineer Joe Stapf’s email signature? He uses this QR code in it:

    July 11, 2012
  3. I have seen it, but I never scanned it until now. So there is at least one person at City Hall that knows how to use them.

    July 11, 2012

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