Private Drinking Water Wells and Wellhead Protection

wellhead

A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report included information on about 2,100 domestic wells in 48 states, including wells in Nebraska.  As many as 219 water quality properties and contaminants were measured in the study.  Overall, more than 20 percent of private domestic wells sampled nationwide contained at least one contaminant at levels of potential health concern. Understanding your drinking water system and taking steps to protect the quality of your water supply will help protect you and your family.

The first step is to understand your drinking water system. How much water will you need? Where will it come from? How is the well and distribution system designed? See a series of six Nebraska Extension NebGuides to find answers.

Private Drinking Water Wells: Planning for Water Use
Private Drinking Water Wells: Water Sources
Private Drinking Water Wells: The Water Well
Private Drinking Water Wells: The Distribution System
Private Drinking Water Wells: Operation and Maintenance for Mechanical Components
Private Drinking Water Wells: Operation and Maintenance for a Safe Well

The next step is to apply practices to protect your drinking water supply. See a series of six Nebraska Extension NebGuides designed to help you protect your drinking water. Publications will help you voluntarily assess contamination risks and develop approrpriate responses.

Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: An Introduction
Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: Water Well Location, Construction, Condition, and Management
Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: Household Wastewater (Sewage) Treatment System Management
Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: Hazardous Materials and Waste Management
Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: Pesticide and Fertilizer Storage and Handling
Protecting Private Drinking Water Supplies: Runoff Management


Additional Resources

Decommissioning Water Wells To Protect Water Quality and Human Health*
This Nebraska Extension Publication describes the process and available resources when an illegal well must be abandoned.

Educational Well Grout Model
This web page describes and illustrates results from a Nebraska Well Grout Task Force study.

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Regulations
Title 178 Chapter 10: Contains regulations governing licensure of water wells and pump installation; contractors and certification of water well drilling; pump installation and water well monitoring supervisors.
Title 178 Chapter 12: Contains regulations governing water well construction, pump installation and water well decommissioning standards.


Information presented within this section has been reviewed by current or former Nebraska Extension faculty including Lorrie Benson, Bruce Dvorak, Jan Hygnstrom, William Kranz, David Shelton, Sharon Skipton and Wayne Woldt.

*PDF format. Download the current version of Adobe Reader

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