|Look for May, 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
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- 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?
Have Private Well Water Tested Now
Although not required in Nebraska by federal or state regulations, testing a private water supply is recommended. Generally, private water supplies should be tested annually for nitrate and bacterial contamination. Coliform bacteria are most likely to be found during periods of wet weather when the soil is warm. Therefore, tests should be conducted in the late spring or early summer during wet weather.
Storing Well Water For Emergency Use
There are many situations when a drinking water supply may be interrupted. An emergency supply can be very helpful in these situations. If your current well water is safe for everyday drinking and cooking, it also should be suitable for storage.