Nebraska Department of
This information is
provided by the
of Environmental Quality
to assist the
public and regulated community.
Source Water Protection Grant Question & Answers
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Q1. Are applicants required to have a state-approved Wellhead Protection Plan?
A1. No. Having a state-approved Wellhead Protection Plan will give a proposal funding priority but is not required. Activities related to developing a Wellhead Protection Plan, such as contaminant source inventories, are eligible for funding.
Q2. Can a municipality apply for a Source Water Protection grant if the community’s wellhead protection plan has not yet been completed?
A2. Yes. A completed wellhead protection plan is not a requirement for receiving Source Water grant funding.
Q3. We would like to apply to do to projects in the same area, is it better to submit them as two separate applications or one?
A3. It’s up to the applicant to decide whether it’s easier to combine them or submit them separately. The RFP criteria favors a more well-rounded project.
Q4. Can Source Water Protection Grants be used for the purchase of pumps for a water treatment plant?
A4. No, the grant money is for source water protection activities, not operations and maintenance.
Q5. Can Source Water Protection grant funds be used for the purchase of a back-up generator for the well’s pump?
A5. Yes, the back-up generator is viewed as an emergency-security measure and would be an eligible expenditure under this program.
Q6. Can the grant funds be used to purchase GPS equipment that would be used to gather data on their water system and curb stops?
A6. Yes. The four eligible categories to apply for under the Source Water grant program are water quality, water quantity, water security and education. Data gathering on your water system and curb stops using GPS equipment would likely fall under the security, water quality and quantity categories depending on how the data is used after collection. NDEQ encourages you to detail how the GPS equipment will be used in the protection of your source water in your application.
Q7. Can the grant be used to pay a teacher or water operator for their role in implementation of the grant?
A7. Yes, the funds can be used to pay a teacher, water operator, or other administrator, for their role in implementing, coordinating, or administrating the project. Projects requesting only personnel expenses are ineligible. This expenditure must be a part of a larger Source Water Protection grant funded project. There is no set percent of the total grant funds awarded that can be used on administrative expenses. Be sure the percent used is reasonable to the work being done.
Q8. Can the grant funds go towards funding the wellhead protection plan for one well?
A8. Funds can be used toward developing a wellhead protection plan if it is part of a larger more comprehensive plan to protect all the community’s drinking water wells. Plan development, as a stand-alone project, will not be funded. The source water grant categories are drinking water quality, quantity, security and education. The more categories included in your project, the higher the project will be ranked for funding.
Q9. Is it true that any city capable of being bonded is not eligible for these grants?
A9. No. There is no eligibility restriction on cities with regard to bonding.
Q10. How do I verify which municipalities have met the requirements of the Source Water Assessment Program?
A10. Call or e-mail the Source Water Protection Coordinator to confirm compliance with the Source Water Assessment Program: (402) 471-6988 or NDEQ.email@example.com
Q11. Can a County Health Department apply for a Source Water Protection grant?
A11. A County Health Department can apply for a Source Water Protection grant if they also operate a public water system that serves a population of 10,000 or less.
Q12. Can the money be used to fund a new well?
A. The money cannot be used to fund a new well or any other activities that are considered operations and maintenance.
Q13. Can money be used to connect Village water to a nearby drinking water pipeline?
A. Connecting to a nearby drinking water pipeline would be categorized under operations and maintenance and would not be an eligible expense.
Q14. Would increasing the fencing around a water tower be an eligible expense for Source Water Protection grant funds?
A. Yes, this activity falls under the security category for funding.
Q15. Our Village would like to purchase communication radios, as backup in an emergency, to communicate between the water operator, Fire Department, the Sheriff and the Village office. Is this an eligible expense?
A. Yes, this activity would fall under the security category for funding.
Q16. Can grant money be used to donate toward the Nebraska Rural Water Association for the services they provide for free?
A. No. Grant funds cannot be used as a donation.
Q17. We would like to replace the existing clay valve on our city well with a new BLT valve. Is this an eligible expense for Source Water Protection grant funds?
A. No, this expenditure is not eligible because it is considered operations and maintenance.
Q. 18 If awarded, is there any grant administration associated with the grant or is the grant just based on the application and financial transaction that takes place?
A. General administration is required for the grant. If a proposal is awarded, the grant money is disbursed on a reimbursement basis. An administrator will need to submit reimbursement requests to the Department prior to payment of grant funds. Semi-annual reporting and a final report, with final financial details, are also required as part of award requirements. If the project is gathering environmental data, a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) may also be required. It’s recommended to contact the NDEQ Source Water Protection coordinator, prior to proposal submittal, for this determination.
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
1200 "N" Street, Suite 400
P.O. Box 98922
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509