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« NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING | Main | NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING »
Wednesday
Apr272016

Domestic Well Owner, Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

A good supply of fresh water is essential to human existence. We use fresh water not only for drinking, but for bathing, growing food, cleaning, watering animals and watering lawns.  In Nebraska about 95 percent of rural residents get their household water supply from private or domestic wells.  If they are not properly protected, these wells are at risk of being contaminated from several sources.  Potential sources of ground water contamination which may be present near your home include septic tanks, animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, fuel storage tanks, household chemicals, used motor oil, and more.   

The potential for contamination in our area is also increased because of the sandy soil.  The only way you know if nitrates and or bacterial are present in your drinking water is by testing because both are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.  A water test for nitrate is highly recommended for households with infants, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or elderly people, as these groups are most susceptible to nitrates. Coliform bacteria are microscopic, generally harmless organisms that live in the intestinal tract of many warm blooded animals including humans and are excreted into the environment through feces. Although most coliform bacteria are not directly disease causing, some are often found with other, more dangerous strains of bacteria like E. coli, shigella and salmonella. Some strains of E. coli are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious gastrointestinal problems.

As of December 31, 2015, the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NDNR) listed 50 domestic wells registered in Grant County.  Domestic wells were not required to be registered with the state prior to September 1993, therefore many domestic wells exist that are not registered with the NDNR.  Unlike public water supplies, the quality of private water sources in Nebraska is unregulated by federal or state mandate.  Thus, well owners are encouraged to have their well water tested and make sure their well is properly maintained to help protect their health and safety.  The potential for water contamination is always present therefore water quality requires long term monitoring.  The Upper Loup NRD recommends that all domestic wells, either registered or unregistered, get tested at least once every five years. 

We are starting year 6 in our cycle which means that we will be testing both registered and non-registered domestic wells in Sub District 1 which includes all of Grant County and the southwest third of Cherry County. We are glad to offer this important safety service to you AT NO CHARGE.  If you would like to ensure your well is on our list or would like to be added to the list please contact our office at 308-645-2250 or email Taylor at tspencer@upperloupnrd.org.

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