Groundwater Quality Rules & Regulations


Since 1985, the Lower Platte North NRD has been monitoring nitrate levels across the district. In certain areas of the district, nitrate levels have already exceeded the health standard of 10 parts per million, and in other areas contamination seems to be on the rise. This was the major impetus for the creation of the Ground Water Management Area in 1997.

Excessive nitrates in drinking water, often linked to irrigated row crop production, can endanger pregnant women and infants by interfering with the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Some studies have also linked excessive nitrate consumption with increased incidence of gastrointestinal cancer, but these reports remain unconfirmed.

To help correct the rising nitrate levels in our groundwater, the NRD has set requirements for producers who use fertilizer in the district.

Currently, the majority of the Management Area is in Phase I, which emphasizes education about fertilizer use. There are two Phase II areas near Richland/Schuyler and Bellwood, and a Phase III area will go into effect in the Richland/Schuyler area in September 2015.

Phase I Requirements

Encouraged but not required:

Nitrate levels across the district are periodically reevaluated, and as a result some areas may enter more restrictive phases, with additional requirements for fertilizer use.

Additional Requirements for Phase II

(Nitrate Nitrogen Levels of 8-10 Parts Per Million After Jan. 1, 2001)

Additional Requirements for Phase III

(Nitrate Nitrogen Levels Exceeding 10 Parts Per Million After Jan. 1, 2001)

More Information

The full text of the NRD's GWMA Rules and Regulations is available as a PDF in our Downloads section.

If you have questions or would like more information about the GWMA, please contact Water Resources Manager Daryl Andersen.

Contact Us

Lower Platte North NRD
PO Box 126
Wahoo, NE 68066
toll-free 1.888.764.0543
Fax 402.443.5339

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