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309 N 5th St, Norfolk, NE 68701
Phone: (402) 844-2000















Wellhead Protection Plan

Section 5.  Public Education and Participation

Management activities adopted in the WHPA by the City of Norfolk will be implemented by several entities to protect the city’s drinking water supply through education of the residents.  Madison County and the City of Norfolk will implement this Plan through zoning overlays in their respective jurisdictions.  Lower Elkhorn NRD will be an active participant through their many programs for managing water resources.

Public Education

We will acquire wellhead protection signs place around the WHPA.  These signs will be placed on the perimeters of the WHPA and will inform the public that they are entering a WHPA.  The City has held wellhead protection public meetings to discuss the program, and will participate in the Groundwater Festival held annually in Norfolk . 

The City web site includes a Stormwater Management page that will be expanded to include Wellhead Protection.  This page will become a Water Resources page that will encompass proper water quality stewardship practices that impact both surface water and groundwater.

Abandoned Well Closures

The City will coordinate and work with the Lower Elkhorn NRD to close all abandoned wells as identified in the contaminant source inventory.  Cost share is available, with the NRD paying 75 percent of the abandoned well closure cost and Nebraska Environmental Partnerships paying the other 25 percent.

Lower Elkhorn NRD Groundwater Management Area

The entire WHPA for Norfolk is included in the NRD’s Groundwater Management Area.  The NRD requires a permit before new wells are drilled within the District.

Conservation Reserve Program

Meet with eligible rural landowners within the WHPA and encourage them to enroll in the Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

Best Management Practices

Work with the Lower Elkhorn NRD and UN-L Cooperative Extension to promote Best Management Practices (BMP) in rural WHPAs.

Ordinances and Zoning

Adopt City ordinances and zoning provisions applicable to the WHPA such as:

  • Adopt WHPA boundaries.
  • Adopt set back distances for certain potential contaminant sources from public supply wells.
  • Prohibit new petroleum and agricultural chemical storage.
  • Prohibit waste lagoons, waste storage, landfills, and concentrated animal feeding operations.

The following brochures and publications provide information on the services, projects, and associations involved in wellhead protection/water quality issues.

  • EPA 810-F-99-008, “Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act”
  • The Groundwater Foundation, website pages
  • “Overview of the Groundwater Guardian Program”
  • “Learn About the Groundwater Guardian Program”
  • “Plan for Taking Action”

UN-L/IANR- website pages

  • The Resource  publications list for subject “Water Resources Management”
  • Nebguide,  “Best Management Practices for Agricultural Pesticides to Protect Water Resources”
  • Nebguide,  “Rinsing Pesticide Containers”
  • Conservation & Survey Division- website pages
  • Madison County “Pesticides & Groundwater: An Applicator’s Map & Guide to Prevent Groundwater Contamination” –map of soil types and vulnerability to groundwater contamination & index of pesticides with risk of groundwater contamination
  • DEQ brochure, “Wellhead Protection and the continuous sign-up Conservation Reserve Program”
  • DEQ web link, Title 124, Chapter 17, “Abandonment of Septic Tank & Lagoon Systems
  • Nebraska Health & Human Services web info, “Guide to Properly Decommissioning of Abandoned Wells”

·USDA/NRCS brochures & flyers:

  • “The Conservation Reserve Program-Continuous Sign-up for High Priority Practices”
  • “The Conservation Reserve Program-Innovation in Environmental Improvement”
  • “The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program-Partnerships that make the most of    Farmland Conservation”
  • Nebraska Corn Growers Assoc., “Best Management Practices”

Lower Elkhorn NRD flyers:

  • Conservation Reserve Program
  • Filter Strip Buffers
  • Riparian Buffers
  • Grassed Waterways
  • The Chemigation Act, Rules & Regulations
  • Soil Sampling Program
  • Free Irrigation Water Testing Program
  • Sealing Abandoned Wells with the Lower Elkhorn NRD Cost Share Program

DEQ, Environmental Partnerships Program, 

  • Abandoned Well Closure Program (Cost Share through local NRD)

DEQ, Wellhead Protection Program Newsletters:

  • What..Why…Where…When…Who
  • Delineation of Wellhead Protection Areas (WHPAs)
  • Contaminant Source Inventory
  • Determination of Water Quality
  • Testing Recommendations
  • Groundwater Regulations and Wellhead Protection
  • WHP Opportunities
  • Nonpoint Source Contamination and Wellhead Protection
  • Developing a Local Wellhead Protection Plan
  •  Booklet, “Wellhead Protection Plan Guidance”