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Groundwater Quality Management


Tri-Basin NRD Groundwater Quality Management Area Landowner/Operator Responsibilities (12/21/1999)

irrigation wellThe following summary of Tri-Basin NRD's Groundwater Management Area rules and regulations is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide a complete and definitive account of all district rules related to groundwater management.

Please call Tri-Basin NRD at 1-877-995-6688 to receive a copy of our rules and regulations. Tri-Basin NRD's Groundwater Management Area was established in 1989 to reduce groundwater nitrate contamination.


Check out these helpful links!

Map of Groundwater Management Area

Link to Groundwater Management Rules & Regulations/Groundwater Management Plan

Nitrogen Management Certification Numbers

Rules and Regulations for Phase 1 Areas (entire district):

  1. Commercial nitrogen fertilizer applications for spring-planted crops are prohibited before November 1 on loam and clay soils.
  2. Commercial nitrogen fertilizer applications or spring-planted crops are prohibited before March 1 on sandy soils.
  3. Anyone who wishes to drill a new water well or replacement well with a flow rate greater than 50 gallons per minute must apply for a well permit before drilling the well. There is a $50.00 fee for well permits.

Rules and Regulations for Phase II Areas:

  1. All Phase I rules also apply in Phase II Areas.
  2. Annual water test of all irrigation wells for groundwater nitrate content.
  3. Annual soil sampling of all crop fields to a minimum depth of 30 inches for residual nitrate/nitrogen.
  4. Nitrogen management certification once every four years for all groundwater users. Certification is obtained by attending district approved educational programs. Contact the NRD office for a list of certification programs and dates.
  5. Submittal of annual Groundwater Management Reports (Crop Reports) by all producers containing information about groundwater nitrate content, residual soil nitrate content, recommended nitrogen application, actual nitrogen applied, crop yield and irrigation water applied. Nitrogen Management Reports are due by December 31.

Rules and Regulations for Phase III Areas:

  1. All Phase I and Phase II rules also apply in Phase III areas.
  2. Commercial nitrogen fertilizer application for spring-planted crops is prohibited between September 1 and March 1, on all soils, except up to 60 pounds actual nitrogen may be applied as an ingredient in fertilizer formulations composed of other ingredients.
  3. Tri-Basin NRD can mail you Nitrogen Management Report forms. Contact Tammy Fahrenbruch at if you have questions about the Nitrogen Management Reports or Groundwater Quality Management program.