When routine monitoring suggests the presence of a pollutant at abnormally high levels, the NRD Board of Directors may authorize a two-year verification study to confirm the NRD’s analysis and try to determine the reason(s). Only after the required verification study may the NRD Board designate the appropriate area a Phase Two or Phase Three Ground Water Management Area, with a goal of reversing the undesired trend before federal thresholds are reached. Besides the health threat it signals, federal regulation can also lead to great expense and inconvenience for a community.
Currently, the NRD is helping eight designated Phase Two Ground Water Management Areas in the District and one Phase Three area. All are shown on the map. In each case, routine monitoring by the NRD indicates abnormally high levels of nitrate nitrogen. A verification study of Sprague is on-going. Remember, the NRD’s Ground Water Management Plan is designed to detect ground water problems BEFORE they become a threat to human health.
The Ground Water Management Plan also establishes rules and regulations for quantity, and, just like it is for quality, the entire District is included in a Phase One Ground Water Management Area for quantity. NRD monitoring has never detected an area triggering Phase Two or Phase Three quantity requirements.