The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) will hold an Open House Public Hearing on Thursday, July 26th from 5-7 p.m. at their new office at 1508 Square Turn Boulevard in Norfolk. The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comment on proposed amendments to the district's Groundwater Management Area Rules & Regulations.
The LENRD has been monitoring the groundwater across their 15 counties for over 40 years. In the early ‘90s, a Groundwater Management Plan was established to protect the resource for future generations. As the monitoring continued, elevated levels of nitrates were detected in portions of Pierce County. The initial Groundwater Management Plan contained language that informed both the Board of Directors and the general public, of the triggers and potential controls that could be imposed within a Groundwater Management Area, using a phased approach to managing the resource. Years have passed, and the nitrate levels in some areas are not declining, and additional portions of the District are experiencing elevated groundwater nitrates, including northern Madison County, even with Best Management Practices in place. High nitrates in our drinking water can have negative health impacts, and some communities within the area have been required to invest significant financial resources to upgrade their infrastructure in order to deliver a safe, reliable source of drinking water. Therefore, the LENRD is proposing changes to the Groundwater Management Area in an effort to keep the nitrate levels from increasing.