Ground Water Management

Ground Water Management

Ground Water Management

Ground Water Management
Ground Water Management

Nebraska law requires each of the state's 23 Natural Resource Districts (NRD) to have an active and operational Ground Water Management Plan. The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD) Ground Water Management Plan is a detailed publication with information about the district, its geology, needs related to ground water, programs, and plans. To obtain a copy of the entire Ground Water Management Plan, contact the Lower Platte South NRD at lpsnrd@lpsnrd.org or by calling 402-476-2729.

Groundwater Rules and Regulations

Groundwater Rules and Regulations
Groundwater Rules and Regulations

The LPSNRD maintains a detailed set of Ground Water Rules and Regulations to aid in the implementation of the Ground Water Management Plan.​

Ground Water Management Phases

Ground Water Management Phases
Ground Water Management Phases

Phase I

In 1997, the entire district was declared and remains a designated Phase I Ground Water Management Area.​ It means LPSNRD is responsible for offering educational information to constituents about maintaining the quality and quantity of our ground water.

Phase II

The LPSNRD Board of Directors has designated eight Phase II Ground Water Management Areas in the District. Elevated levels of nitrates from nonpoint sources prompted all of the designations.  Phase II areas include:

  • Lower Salt Creek Ground Water Management Area, designated in 2001
  • Valparaiso Community Water System Protection Area (CWSPA), designated in 2004
  • Davey, Hickman, Pleasant Dale, Union, Weeping Water, and Otoe County Rural Water District #3 CWSPAs, designated in 2009

Phase II Rules & Regulations (quality only)  

  • 50% of wells in the monitoring network must be at or above 50% of the MCL*
  • Designation must be preceded by a two-year verification study
  • All Phase I rules and regulations also apply
  • Educational certification required for persons engaged in the use, application, and storage of the contaminant(s)
  • Increased cost-share on best management practices for targeted area
  • The effectiveness of Phase II is reviewed annually  

Landowners or operators who make nitrogen management decisions within designated Phase II (or Phase III) areas may be required to attend a Nitrogen Certification Class every four years. LPSNRD will correspond to determine who needs to attend.​

Phase III

The Elmwood Community Water System Protection Area (CWSPA) was designated a Phase III Ground Water Management Area in 2009 and is the only Phase III area in the District. Elevated levels of nitrates from nonpoint sources are the reason.

Phase III Rules & Regulations (quality only)  ​

  • 80% of wells in the monitoring network must be at or above 80% of the MCL*
  • Designation must be preceded by a two-year verification study
  • All Phase I and II requirements apply
  • Requires implementation of best management practices, without LPSNRD cost-share assistance
  • Requires reports of water and soil sampling
  • Prohibit/regulate the application of any contaminant
  • Requires the use of inhibitors to prevent leaching of the contaminant
  • Requires landowners to report results of soil and water sampling annually to LPSNRD
  • Effectiveness of Phase III reviewed annually

Landowners or operators who make nitrogen management decisions within designated Phase III (or Phase II) areas may be required to attend a Nitrogen Certification Class every four years. LPSNRD will correspond to determine who needs to attend.​

*Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The maximum amount of a pollutant that is safe for human consumption, as established by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Nitrogen Certification

Nitrogen Certification
Nitrogen Certification

Chemigation

Chemigation
Chemigation

​LPSNRD protects irrigation water sources from contamination by fertilizer or pesticides, as established in the Nebraska Chemigation Act. When fertilizer or pesticides (i.e., fungicide, herbicide or insecticide) are applied through an irrigation system (chemigation), LPSNRD works with other agencies to ensure chemigation applicators and irrigation systems comply with the requirements of the Nebraska Chemigation Act and Title 195, “Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Chemigation.”​

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is responsible for certifying chemigation applicators and NDEQ has contracted with the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension to administer training and testing.  Chemigation certification information and training dates/locations can be found at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/Chemig. Applicators must be re-certified every four years.

The responsibility of Natural Resources Districts is to permit and inspect injection sites and required safety equipment:

Obtaining a Permit for a NEW System

  • Complete the Application for a Chemigation Permit and submit to LSPNRD, along with the appropriate fee, at: Lower Platte South NRD, P O Box 83581, Lincoln, NE 68501-3581
    • Permit fee: $60.00
    • Renewal fee: $30.00 
    • Special permit: $60.00
    • Emergency permit: $250.00
  • All new chemigation systems must be inspected prior to chemigating​.
  • It is the applicant/permit holder's responsibility to schedule the required inspection with the district within 45 days.

Renewing an Existing System Permit

  • All current permit holders will be notified by U.S. Mail (usually in early May) to renew their permits prior to June 1st.
  • Failure to renew a permit prior to June 1st will result in the system needing a new permit and an inspection will be required.
  • Systems for which renewal permits are issued are inspected every three years (unless changes are made to the system).

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