Soil Water

Irrigation scheduling needs to begin with a discussion on soil and soil water. This is the basis of irrigation scheduling.

Coarse soils, such as sands and gravels, have relatively large pores. However the number of pores is small when compared to a finer textured soil. Fine soils, like clays or clay loams, have relatively small pores. Having many small pores means that a fine textured soil can hold more water than a coarse textured soil.

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Why Manage Irrigation?

The goal of irrigation management is to use water in the most profitable way at sustainable production levels. For production agriculture this generally means supplementing precipitation with irrigation.

In recent years we have seen declines in groundwater levels, almost statewide. Much of the State of Nebraska is considered fully or over-appropriated. This means that in those over-appropriated areas there will be no new development of irrigated acres.

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Furrow Irrigation

Advantages to furrow irrigation include lower initial investment of equipment and lower pumping costs per acre-inch of water pumped. Disadvantages include greater labor costs and lower application efficiency compared to sprinkler and subsurface drip irrigation. The number of furrow irrigated acres in Nebraska has decreased from 2.4 million to approximately 1.5 million acres in the past 10 years.

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The University of Nebraska Extension is committed to meeting Nebraskans' information and education needs in a timely and efficient manner. We make the information you need or want available on demand, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through a series of onsite wastewater treatment publications. Publications will provide you with know how on all the topics below. All are available at local Extension offices throughout the state, or are ready for download right here on our site.

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Domestic Sewage FAQs

I have a septic system. What maintenance does it need?
One of the most important things you can do to keep the system functioning properly is to have the septic tank pumped regularly by a certified professional. Scum and/or sludge could build up and be carried to the drainfield if the tank is not pumped regularly. This will clog the drainfield and not allow wastewater to be treated. Wastewater may form a pond in the yard or back up into the house. At that point you are probably facing costly repairs or replacement instead of minimal maintenance expenses.

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Wastewater Professional Training Opportunities

excavation tank

Training Opportunities

2020 Professional Development Hours Training


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Drinking Water Testing

Water Test Kit
Testing private drinking water supplies in Nebraska is not required by federal or state regulation, with some exceptions such as licensed childcare facilities and foster care home water supplies. County or city jurisdictions may have requirements for private water supply testing.

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Drinking Water Treatment

Reverse osmosis system

A variety of water treatment processes are available to the homeowner, differing in the types of chemicals removed, location within the home, and operating and maintenance requirements.

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Efficient Indoor Water Use

Water spraying from a faucet
Most people in the U.S. use 60 to 100 gallons of water per person per day. See the following Nebraska Extension publications to learn how to use water most efficiently in your home.

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Emergency Drinking Water Supply

Tornado funnel cloud

Nebraska's abundant domestic water supply is generally taken for granted. However some situations can reduce the availability of safe drinking water, including tornadoes, floods, winter storms, or even earthquakes. Such disasters may interrupt the water supply for only a few hours or up to several days. In these situations an emergency water supply is helpful, if not essential.

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