The Auburn Board of Public Works (BPW) is taking major steps in a long-term commitment to reduce pollutant loading to surface water and groundwater within the City’s Wellhead Protection (WHP) Area through the Drinking Water Protection Program. The WHP Area displays the area of land above the aquifer contributing to the municipal wells along with the local area of influence from surface water.
The BPW will be hosting an open house for the public and property owners to attend to learn more about the Program and opportunities to help improve the quality of their drinking water. The open house will be held on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Auburn City Hall Council Chambers, 1101 J Street, Auburn, NE 68305.
The City receives its drinking water from a wellfield located on an alluvial aquifer along the Little Nemaha River. The source water area includes surface to groundwater contributions from the Little Nemaha River and multiple small perennial tributaries which provide recharge to the aquifer and are hydrologically connected to the groundwater. This connection has resulted in potential for increased nitrate concentrations in the groundwater and Auburn’s drinking water supply.
In July 2018, the Auburn BPW developed the Auburn Drinking Water Protection Management Plan. To meet the goals established in this plan, the current Program was created to help provide cost-share opportunities for property owners to upgrade inadequate septic systems and properly decommission abandoned wells. The Program also offers additional incentives for a variety of conservation practices, or Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as cover crops, no-till, buffers, Conservation Reserve Program, etc. in cooperation the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The BPW will also be providing public outreach and education.
A graphical description of Auburn’s water source and more details on the Program can be found within an online StoryMap, https://bit.ly/3xL2S7O, which will also be posted on the BPW’s website and City of Auburn’s Facebook page. All members of the public and property owners in the City of Auburn and the WHP Area are encouraged to attend this open house to learn more about the Program. You can contact the BPW at 402-274-4981 to sign-up or seek additional information.