001 The existing and potential beneficial uses of ground water in the State will be protected from impairment. The highest and most sensitive beneficial use of ground water is drinking water. The Department will protect the existing and potential beneficial uses of ground water regardless of its quality.
002 In determining whether the standards found in this chapter are attainable for any specific aquifer, the Department will take into consideration environmental, technological, social and economic factors.
003 The existing high quality ground water will be maintained and protected when the existing quality is better than the maximum contaminant levels set out in this chapter.
004 The Department may choose, after notice and hearing, to allow degradation of such high quality ground water where justified as a result of necessary and widespread economic or social development; provided however, that degradation of ground water quality will not interfere with or become injurious to existing water uses.
005 The following narrative standards apply to ground waters in the State:
005.01 Wastes, toxic substances, or any other pollutant (alone or in combination with other pollutants) introduced directly or indirectly by human activity will not be allowed to enter ground water:
005.01A If beneficial uses of ground water would be impaired or public health and welfare would be threatened; or
005.01B If beneficial uses of hydrologically connected ground waters or assigned uses of surface waters would be impaired.
005.02 Any pollutant introduced directly or indirectly by human activity that would impair beneficial uses of ground water due to unacceptable color, corrosivity, odor, or any other aesthetic characteristic will not be allowed.
006 Numerical standards (maximum contaminant levels) for the parameters listed below apply to ground waters in the State. Any substance introduced directly or indirectly by human activity will not be allowed to enter ground water if one or more of the following numerical standards would be exceeded:
Public Health Parameters
Maximum Contaminant Levels
7.00E+06 fibers/liter with fiber length > 10 microns
Cyanide (as free cyanide)
Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride)
Nitrate (as N)
Nitrite (as N)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
Other Parameters Affecting Use
6.5 - 8.5 standard pH units
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
007 The numerical standards listed above are intended to protect beneficial uses of ground water. If the background level of a parameter is greater than the numerical standard, this will not in and of itself prohibit the use of the ground water.
008 If the background level of a parameter is greater than the numerical standard listed above, the background level will be used as the numerical standard.
009 Sample collection and analysis methods.
009.01 Sample collection will be performed according to methods approved by the Department to ensure the collection of a representative sample.
009.02 Any sample analysis method used has to be approved by the Department and provide protection to public health, safety, and the environment.
Enabling Legislation: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-1505(1)(2)