Surface Water Watersheds

Watersheds

Everyone lives in a watershed. A watershed is the land area that contributes water to a location, usually a stream, pond, lake or river. Everything that we do on the surface of our watershed impacts the water quality of our streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes and rivers. What happens in one locality affects other downstream areas.

Nitrate in Nebraska

From increased water bills to closed lakes to tainted drinking water, high nitrate levels are affecting thousands of Nebraskans.

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Understanding Bacteria in Lakes

A dip in the lake can be refreshing, but it’s important to consider what’s going on in the water that you may not see – especially for E. coli bacteria.

Identifying an E.coli issue

It’s fairly easy to see Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and algae at a lake.  Unfortunately, the same visual assessment does not apply to E. coli.  However, there are three indicators of E. coli in a lake to consider:

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Why does groundwater nitrate vary so much across Nebraska?

Have you ever wondered why groundwater nitrate maps show so much variation across Nebraska? Or why wells near to your own tested well have such different nitrate levels? The answer has three parts. Nitrate in groundwater varies from place to place because of differences in:

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After the Flood - Private Drinking Wells

Floodwater from recent heavy rains, snow melt, and flooding may potentially carry pollutants with it.  During floods, water comes into contact with things it normally wouldn’t, such as gasoline, animal waste, chemical storage facilities and more.  If your private drinking water well has been impacted by flood water,  your water supply may have been contaminated with pollutants carried in the flood water.

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Proactive Drinking Water Management for a Unique Water System

The City of Auburn, population 3,000, is located in southeast Nebraska, near the Little Nemaha River, approximately seven miles upstream of its confluence with the Missouri River. The City receives its drinking water from a wellfield located east of the community within an alluvial aquifer along the Little Nemaha River. The wellfield consists of 11 vertical wells averaging 45 to 50 feet below the ground's surface, pumping up to 150 million gallons per year.

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