Nebraska Administrative Code
Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

Title 118 - Groundwater Quality Standardsand Use Classification
Chapter 1 - Definitions
Effective Date of Last Revision: September 20, 2023

In addition to the definitions in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1502, the following definitions apply:

001 "Aquifer" means a geologic formation, group of formations, or part of a formation that is capable of yielding usable amounts of water to a well, spring, or other point of discharge.

002 "Background" means the levels of chemical, physical, biological, and radiological constituents or parameters prior to an activity or pollution event, as determined by methods acceptable to the Department.

003 "Beneficial use" means any existing or potential ground water quality dependent use as identified in this title.

004 "Cleanup" means the removal or attenuation of pollutants from the environment through physical, chemical, or biological processes.

005 "Degradation" means a worsening (i.e., of ground water quality) caused directly or indirectly by man.

006 "Department" means the Department of Environment and Energy.

007 "Gross beta particle activity" means the total radioactivity due to beta particle emission as inferred from measurements on a dry sample.

008 "Ground water" is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 46-706.

009 "Impairment of Use" means an adverse impact on a beneficial use of ground water due to water quality degradation (as indicated by the narrative and numerical standards of Chapter 3) such that any previously existing beneficial use cannot be fully attained.

010 "Maximum contaminant level" means the maximum permissible level of a substance or matter in ground water.

011 "Milligrams per liter (mg/l)" means the concentration of a substance expressed as the weight in milligrams contained in one liter of solution. For most practical purposes, this term is equivalent to parts per million (ppm).

012 “Petroleum” is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 66-1510.

013 "pH" means the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration (pH = -log [H]+). pH is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity of a solution on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 representing neutrality. Numbers from 7 up to 14 denote increasing alkalinity, and numbers from 7 down to 0 denote increasing acidity.

014 "Picocurie (pCi)" means that quantity of radioactive material producing 2.22 nuclear transformations per minute.

015 "Pollutant" means any gas, liquid, or solid introduced into ground water that causes pollution.

016 "Private drinking water supply" means that ground water used as drinking water which is not included under public drinking water supply.

017 "Public drinking water supply" means that ground water used in a public water supply system.

018 "Public water supply system" is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5301(10).

019 “Rem” means the unit of dose equivalent from ionizing radiation to the total body or any internal organ or organ system. A “millirem” (mrem) is 1/1000 of a rem.

020 "Remedial action" means any immediate or long term response to a pollution event including cleanup, restoration, mitigative actions, and any other action approved or required by the Department.

021 "Responsible party" means any person causing pollution or creating a condition from which pollution is likely to occur, any owner or operator of a source where pollution has occurred or where a condition has been created from which pollution is likely to occur, or any responsible person as defined by Title 126 - Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Management of Wastes.

022 "Restoration" means the cleanup of polluted ground water to background quality.

023 "Toxic substances" means those pollutants or combinations of pollutants, or disease causing agents which, after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion, inhalation or assimilation into any organism, either directly from the environment or indirectly by ingestion through food chains, will, on the basis of information available to the Department, cause either death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunction in reproduction), inhibition of growth or physical deformation on any organism or its offspring.

024 "Water supply system" is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 71-5301(9).025 "Water well" means any excavation that is drilled, cored, bored, washed, driven, dug, jetted, or otherwise constructed for the purpose of exploring for ground water, monitoring ground water, utilizing the geothermal properties of the ground, obtaining hydrogeologic information, or extracting water from or injecting water into the underground water reservoir. Water well will not include any excavation made for obtaining or prospecting for oil or natural gas or for inserting media to repressure oil or natural gas bearing formations regulated by the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

026 "Wellfield" means a group of two or more public drinking water supply wells in close proximity to each other.

027 "Wellhead area" means the water-saturated subterranean strata from which ground water is withdrawn for a public water supply system, along with the overlying unsaturated subterranean strata, land surface, surface waters, and air space providing ground water recharge to such strata.

028 "Wellhead protection area" is defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 46-1502(4).

Enabling Legislation: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1505(1), (2)