NRCS Practice Standard: Monitoring Well (353)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Monitoring Well (353)
A well designed and installed to obtain representative groundwater samples and hydrogeologic information.
A monitoring well is used to provide controlled access for sampling groundwater near an agricultural waste storage facility, waste treatment facility, or other areas of concern to detect the occurrence of seepage and to monitor groundwater quality through time. The main difference between a water well and a monitoring well is the monitoring well must be built so that water entering the well is only from the soil or rock layers of interest.
Before a monitoring well, or series of monitoring wells, is installed, a surface and subsurface investigation of the site is conducted to develop a conceptual hydrogeologic model of the site to identify potential groundwater flow paths and determine the location of the target monitoring zone(s). Assistance from a professional geologist is required.
A buffer zone with a minimum 30-foot radius must be established around each wellhead. The buffer must be protected from access by motor vehicles and livestock.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Monitoring Well (Code 353) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
When the monitoring well has reached the end of its useful life, close the well in accordance with NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Well Decommissioning (Code 351).
To view the national NRCS standard for Monitoring Well please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY