|Look for June, 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
- Agricultural Irrigation
- Crop Production
- Drinking Water
- Lakes / Ponds / Streams
- Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
- Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens
- Livestock Manure Management
- Policy / Law / Economics / Human Behavior
- Stormwater Management
- Wastewater - Domestic Sewage
- Water Basics (groundwater, surface water, hydrology)
- Well and Wellhead Management
(Photo by Sharon Skipton)
Well & Wellhead Management
Nebraska is blessed with abundant groundwater that is generally of good quality. Groundwater is water that fills the openings or pore spaces in sand, gravel, and rock formations. An aquifer is a formation containing a usable amount of water. Groundwater from aquifers is a major source of water in Nebraska. It is a vital source for agricultural irrigation and for drinking water. Wells are used to access groundwater.
Everyone can do something to protect groundwater and reduce risks to our water supply. The National Ground Water Association urges all citizens to be good water stewards. Good practices include:
- Properly decommissioning all out-of-service wells.
Every Natural Resources District (NRD) assists well owners with the cost of decommissioning out-of-service water wells. Payment rates vary by NRD, but may be 60 to 75% of the cost.
- Inspecting septic systems for proper operation.
Failing septic systems can be a risk to the environmental and human health. Systems should be inspected by a certified professional and the tank should be pumped on a regular basis.
- Having domestic well water tested annually.
It's a good idea to test the quality of water from a new drinking water well, periodically monitor the quality of an existing well, or test irrigation water for nutrients.
- Properly applying fertilizers and pesticides to lawns and landscapes.
Fertilizers and pesticides must be managed properly on lawns and landscapes, in public areas such as parks and golf courses, and on cropland.
The Water Systems Council offers a Wellcare®Hotline for household well owners. The National Ground Water Association offers a Well Owner site with information on groundwater and private water wells. Both are committed to protecting groundwater and ensuring that drinking water from private wells is safe.
Information presented within the wells and wellhead management section of this Water Web site has been reviewed by University of Nebraska - Lincoln Team members David Shelton, Rachael Herpel, Sharon Skipton, Wayne Woldt, and Jan Hygnstrom.
Did You Know?
Protect Your Well From Stormwater Runoff
The next time it rains, go outside and notice how the rainwater moves from roof areas, driveways, and other paved surfaces. Make sure this water is not flowing toward your private drinking water well. As stormwater flows over the land, it can pick up bacteria, chemicals, and other pollutants and carry those toward your well. To reduce the risk of contamination from runoff, make sure your well casing extends above the ground at least 1 foot. Make sure water cannot pond around the wellhead. If stormwater flows toward your well, re-grade and/or landscape the area so stormwater flows away from the well.