Norfolk's drinking water is drawn from underground aquifers and
routed to two Treatment Plants. The older East Water Treatment
Plant draws from wells within the community. The newer and
larger West Water Treatment Plant draws from the aquifer west of the
City. (See the
Water Division for details about treatment
processes). These aquifers are supplied by rain water seeping
down through the upper layers of soil, and collecting above a more
dense layer of soil or rock. The type of soil, its chemistry,
and soil surface characteristics (including contaminants) influences
A Wellhead Protection Plan has been developed to protect the
water resources for future generations. The purpose of the
Plan is to use Zoning regulations to limit activities in the source
water area that could degrade the water quality. As an
example, elevated protection measures are implemented for fuel and
chemical storage, and heavy industrial activity. The narrative
section of the Plan is available via the Wellhead Protection Plan
link above. Database information and several of the maps are
too large to be included in this web page, so a complete document is
available for review at the Public Library and the West Water
Treatment Plant if you choose. Their are several sources
for water quality information, some of which we have included on
this page. The Lower Elkhorn NRD is an active local partner,
and has many programs and publications available to the public to
assist in this effort.
When water quality is degraded, it generally
is caused by some human activity.
What can we do?
Homeowners can properly manage their automotive fluids
disposal, and fertilizer and lawn chemical applications.
Overused and improperly disposed chemicals and fertilizers either
run off the surface to the storm drain, or percolate down through
the soil into the aquifer.
Industry can insure it does not store chemicals outside or
otherwise unprotected. They can insure that all process waste
is routed to a treatment system and not to a drain field or surface
Agriculture can closely manage their fertilizer
applications, insure chemigation systems are maintained and operated
properly. They can properly abandon unused wells, and use
double walled fuel storage tanks. The local NRD office is a
great source for rural water management information.
These links are a good source of data on managing run-off
from around our homes, farms, and businesses. Our activities
on the land today will impact our water quality for decades into the
future, so take some time to investigate how we can all protect this
valuable natural resource and community asset.