In The Loup: Chemigation Rules Apply to Surface Water Too

Regardless of whether you irrigate using groundwater or surface water, you fall under the same laws for chemigation. Chemigation is the process of applying pesticides or fertilizer through an irrigation system.

Lower Loup NRD officials have discovered some misconceptions about surface water chemigation. Nebraska statutes specifically state that any system which connects directly to a source of ground or surface water, through which a mixture of water and chemicals is applied for agricultural or horticultural purposes, is considered a chemigation system and has requirements.

A chemigation permit is required for the owner or operator of land who applies or authorized the application of chemicals to such land by means of chemigation. The permit holder shall be the party primarily responsible for any liability arising from chemigation on the property. A chemigation applicator’s license can be obtained online from the University of Nebraska-Extension. Contact your local NRD for more information regarding the licensing process.

The NRD is responsible for inspecting all equipment used for chemigation to ensure water resources are protected. New permits, which cost $50, are inspected every year, renewal permits ($30) are inspected every 3 years to ensure equipment is in top working condition.