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.

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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To Aerate or Not to Aerate? That is the winter question.

It’s been getting colder and winter is upon us. If you have an aerator in your pond you maybe wondering what to do with it. Cold water holds more oxygen, animal and plant use of this oxygen is lower than in the winter than the summer, and oxygen-using decomposition is very slow. So, if the pond is open most of the winter or only has occasional ice cover, the pond should not have an oxygen problem. In this case, aeration is not benefitting the pond.

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Zebra Mussels in Nebraska

Boating season is once again upon us and it is time to remember to clean, drain and dry watercrafts, angling equipment and any other items that come in contact with a waterbody between uses.  Zebra mussels, an invasive small mussel species, can live out of water for up to 2 weeks in the summer time in the right conditions and cleaning, draining and drying watercrafts and equipment for at least 5 days before launching in a different waterbody is pertinent.  Currently there is no effective way to eliminate 100% of zebra mussels from a waterbody so prevention is key. 

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