The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (LPSNRD) says the proper sealing or decommissioning of water wells that are no longer in use helps preserve the quality of water in the aquifer. LPSNRD recently decommissioned the 1,000th well under a program it started in 1990 and the decommissioning was recognized by the LPSNRD Board of Directors when it met Wednesday.

The LPSNRD program reimburses landowners after a well has been decommissioned by a licensed contractor. The amount of reimbursements varies, depending on the location, depth and diameter of the well and what materials and procedures were necessary to decommission the well properly. The 1,000th well, a domestic well that was four inches in diameter, was on property owned by Tim and Dawn Powell, of Powell Properties and Management LLC, of Malcolm, and, since the well was within the designated community water system protection area for Malcolm, LPSNRD’s reimbursement was for 100% of the cost.

If an unused well is not properly decommissioned, any contaminants that get into the well go directly into the aquifer. Decommissioning also includes cutting well casings off below ground level, protecting people and animals from injuries.

The LPSNRD Board of Directors was also briefed on results of its recent public awareness survey when it met Wednesday evening. Ground water quality and quantity are the biggest natural resource concerns in the district, according to the results. Natalie McClure, project director and Casey Wurst, creative strategist for the Lincoln public relations firm Red Thread, told the board, after ground water quality and quantity, respondents concerns turned to preserving wetlands and wildlife, flood control, protecting soil and managing stormwater.

Results of the survey will help guide LPSNRD’s program and project activities in the future.

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