Concerns about high nitrates in the region have risen as recent monitoring has shown increasing levels of nitrate concentration in much of the groundwater in Pierce County, when compared with long-term monitoring data from the same area.
Comprehensive sampling of Pierce and Madison County irrigation wells was conducted in both 2015 and 2017, with more than 700 samples collected. The average nitrate concentration of the samples collected was 13 parts per million.
Some communities in Pierce County also have been plagued with high nitrates in their drinking water and have had to invest in new infrastructure or other measures to supply safe, reliable drinking water to their residents.
That’s what’s spurring the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District to consider modifying the area covered in Pierce and Madison counties by a groundwater quality management area.