Water

Water

Flood Control/Watershed Program

Flood Control/Watershed Program
Flood Control/Watershed Program

Nineteen watersheds are identified within the Nemaha basin:

Brownell, Ziegler Creek, Rock Creek, Winnebago-Bean, Spring Creek, South Fork, Wilson Creek, Long Branch, Upper Big Nemaha, South Branch, Middle Big Nemaha, Upper Little Nemaha, Turkey Creek, Big Muddy, Peru-Brownville, Squaw Camp Creek, Lower Little Nemaha, Lower Big Nemaha, South Fork Tributaries.

More than 400 flood or erosion control dams and structures built by the NRD or with NRD assistance are spread throughout the District. Most of the structures include NRD responsibility for inspection and maintenance. With the exception of the four (soon to be five) public recreation lakes operated by the NRD, all other watershed structures are privately owned.

Access for fishing or hunting is not required and only available upon permission and consent of the landowner.

Nine structures are classified as “high hazard” because of their potential for loss of life and property in the event of a failure. These structures, listed below, are inspected every year by both the NRD staff and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. In the unlikely event of a failure, detailed emergency action plans are in place for each location.

  • Wilson Creek 8-H (east of Syracuse, Otoe County-impacts Highway 2)
  • Wilson Creek 2-N (south of Otoe, Otoe County)
  • Upper Little Nemaha 21 (southwest of Bennet, Lancaster County)
  • Upper Little Nemaha 23 (south of Bennet, Lancaster County)
  • Upper Big Nemaha 7-A (southwest of Adams, Gage County)
  • Upper Big Nemaha 11-A (east of Firth, Lancaster County)
  • Upper Big Nemaha 25-C (southwest of Adams, Gage County-impacts Highway 41 & Burlington Northern Railroad)
  • Middle Big Nemaha 96 (north of Tecumseh, Johnson County)
  • Long Branch 21 (northwest of Humboldt, Richardson County)

Well Permitting

Well Permitting
Well Permitting

Since 1999 anyone installing a high capacity well (designed to pump >50 gpm) is required to obtain a permit from the District. To qualify for approval the well must meet certain standards and obtain a ranking score above pre-determined minimums, depending on the well’s location within the District (201 points in most areas; 300 points in an area of eastern Richardson County). Permit applications, accompanied by a non-refundable $50 filing fee, must be received no later than the end of business on the Thursday prior to the monthly board meeting to be considered at that meeting. For more details on the NRD well permitting and other groundwater rules, check out the complete text of the NRD Groundwater Rules & Regulations.

Well Registration

Well Registration
Well Registration

All new wells (since 1993) are required to be registered, including domestic wells. If not registered a well is considered illegal until either registered or properly abandoned if no longer in use. Penalties may include a $500 fine; however, anyone who voluntarily registers a well may avoid the fine. Registering your domestic well could also help protect your water supply from encroachment by new, high capacity wells.

Well registration forms are available at the NRD office or by contacting the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources in Lincoln.

Wells pumping 50 gpm or less cost $70 to register; those pumping above that cost $110 to register.

Well Abandonment

Well Abandonment
Well Abandonment

Old wells are dangerous to people and animals and may be a direct conduit for pollutants to enter the water supply. Cost-share funds are available to help with the proper closure and sealing of wells that are no longer in use.

Up to 75% of the cost of the closure may be reimbursed (maximum $500 for drilled wells or $700 for hand-dug wells). Closures must be completed per State regulations and by a licensed well contractor.

Approval is required before closure, which must be completed within 90 days. Funds may not be used for removal of exposed or buried pipes, tanks, pumps, towers, well houses, or other apparatus.;

Well Abandonment Cost-Share Application

Water Monitoring Systems Cost-Share

Water Monitoring Systems Cost-Share
Water Monitoring Systems Cost-Share

Matching funds are available for water well flow meters (maximum of $500) and soil moisture monitoring systems (maximum $300). Participants must own land within the District and agree to use, maintain, and report usage for a five-year period. Any well pumping more than 50 gpm and not used for domestic purposes is eligible for a flow meter.

Soil Moisture Monitoring Application

Information about Soil Mosture Sensors

Information about Evapotranspiration gauges

Water Analysis

Water Analysis
Water Analysis

Free sampling of domestic water supplies is available to District residents. The service is limited to nitrate testing and bacteria testing. Additional tests are available for a fee depending on the type of test requested; these samples are sent to an outside lab for analysis. Annual well testing is recommended for private, domestic water wells. Nitrate more than 10 ppm can cause blue baby syndrome in infants; pregnant women, nursing mothers, and the elderly are also at risk for adverse effects from excessive nitrate concentrations. No presence of bacteria is acceptable, though coliform bacteria are generally harmless. However, more serious strains such as E. Coli can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious gastrointestinal problems.

Contact the NRD office to request sampling of your well.

Chemigation

Chemigation
Chemigation

Cooperators wishing to apply chemicals (including pesticides and fertilizer) through an irrigation system are required to obtain a permit from the NRD. Applicator certification is also required, and training/certification sessions are usually held throughout the state each winter/early spring. New permits cost $50, but renewals are just $20 each if submitted prior to June 1. For more details on the program, check out the full text of Chemigation Rules & Regulations.