NEBRASKA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
NEBRASKA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Title 119 - Rules And Regulations Pertaining To The Issuance Of Permits Under The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
Chapter 12 - Land Application of Domestic Effluent, Land Application of Single Pass Noncontact Cooling Water and Disposal of Domestic Biosolids

001 There shall be two procedures designed to permit and authorize the land application of effluent and/or single pass noncontact cooling water and/or biosolids. Land application sites and/or effluent not meeting the requirements, limitations, prohibitions or conditions set forth in this chapter will not be permitted under Authorization by Rule but may still be eligible for a site specific permit or site specific language included in an NPDES permit for an individual wastewater treatment facility. Such a determination will be made by the Department. The two procedures necessary for these regulations are as follows:

001.01 Authorization by Rule. An NPDES permit allowing the land application of effluent and/or single pass noncontact cooling water and/or biosolids is hereby Authorized by Rule provided all of the requirements, conditions, limitations and prohibitions contained sections 002, 003, and 004 of this chapter or any other regulation contained in Title 119 pertaining to the land application itself, the land application site and the aforementioned land application materials are observed.

001.02 Application for Site Specific Land Application Authorization. If a land application site and/or the land application material can not meet all of the requirements, conditions, limitations or prohibitions contained in sections. 002, 003, and 004 of this chapter or any other regulation contained in Title 119 pertaining to the land application itself, the applicant may submit an application for a site specific land application permit and / or site specific language to be placed in an NPDES permit for an individual wastewater treatment facility. The determination to approve the permit will be made by the Department on a case by case basis.

002 Land Application of Effluent

002.01 Effluent used for land application shall be the final discharge from a domestic wastewater treatment facility. The discharge shall receive, at a minimum, treatment so that the limits and conditions set forth herein can be met.

002.02 Land Application Site Requirements and Conditions for Restricted and Unrestricted Public Access Sites

002.02A Set Backs and Buffer Zones

002.02A1 There shall be no public drinking water wells within 500 feet of the application area.

002.02A2 There shall be no private drinking water wells within 100 feet of the application area.

002.02A3 Effluent shall not be applied to sites less than 100 feet from any inhabited dwellings.

002.02A4 Land application sites shall not be located within or adjacent to residential areas.

002.02A5 Effluent shall not be allowed to exceed the land application site boundaries.

002.02A6 Effluent application, runoff or spray shall not be allowed on public roadways.

002.02B Soil and Crop Criteria

002.02B1 Treated effluent shall be land applied at an agronomic rate. Agronomic rate is defined as the application rate of nitrogen to meet the estimated nitrogen requirements of the crop being produced based on past or projected yields. In determining the agronomic rate, the permittee shall consider the nitrogen content of the wastewater, available nitrogen in the soil, and the amount of nitrogen from commercial fertilizer. Any laboratory testing or other documentation regarding the determination of agronomic rate for the land application site shall be retained by the permittee. Documentation shall be made available immediately upon request to NDEQ.

002.02B2 Treated wastewater shall not be applied to crops that are intended for distribution in their raw form for direct human consumption (e.g. fresh produce).

002.02C Land Application Site Prohibitions

002.02C1 Land application shall not be conducted when the ground is frozen or saturated.

002.02C2 Land application sites shall have a slope of 12% or less.

002.02C3 Surface runoff of effluent shall be prohibited. Application of wastewater shall cease immediately if ponding or runoff occurs.

002.02C4 Land application sites shall be free of perennial or intermittent streams, ponds, lakes or wetlands.

002.02D Ground Water Criteria

002.02D1 There shall be no impairment to the beneficial uses of ground water. Any substance introduced directly or indirectly by human activity shall not be allowed to exceed the applicable standards for ground water as set forth in Chapter 4, of Title 118 - Ground Water Quality Standards and Use Classification
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002.02D2 The distance of land surface to the seasonal high groundwater level as specified either by a soil survey map or well logs, shall be, at a minimum, greater than 4 feet.

002.02D3 Where the potential for ground water contamination is a concern, the NDEQ may require monitoring wells to be installed and ground water monitoring to be conducted.

002.02E Effluent Criteria

002.02E1 The total hydraulic application rate shall be based on weekly local crop uptake values. (This information may be obtained through the County Extension Office or the Natural Resource District.) The total hydraulic application rate shall not exceed 2 inches per acre (54,304 gallons) per week.

002.02E2 Treated wastewater used for land application must comply with all numeric and narrative limits, conditions and requirements set forth herein.

002.02E3 The effluent shall be monitored for the following parameters; pH, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Nitrate as Nitrogen, Ammonia as Nitrogen, Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Phosphorous and Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR).

002.02F The permittee shall maintain and retain logs containing the following information;

002.02F1 Each land application site shall be identified in the log by the legal description. All information pertaining to that land application site shall be identified as such.

002.02F2 The inches per acre per week of treated wastewater applied to each land application site. The beginning and ending date of the week shall be noted in the log.

002.02F3 The results of the laboratory analysis for the following parameters; pH, Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Nitrate as Nitrogen, Ammonia as Nitrogen, Total Dissolved Solids, Chloride, Phosphorous, and Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR). A copy of the laboratory analysis shall be attached to the log entry.

002.02F4 Any additional nitrogen applied to the land application site per irrigation season per year. The amount of nitrogen shall be reported in tons per acre per year.

002.02F5 If additional nitrogen is applied to the application site, the source and amount from each source shall be noted in the log.

002.02F6 The permittee shall make these logs available for review upon request by NDEQ.

002.02G Monitoring Frequency Requirements

002.02G1 The monitoring frequency for Restricted Public Access Sites shall be, at a minimum, annually. The effluent shall be sampled on the first day of land application.

002.02G2 The monitoring frequency for Unrestricted Public Access Sites shall be, at a minimum, once during the first week of the initial land application (irrigation) event and once every month thereafter for all parameters except flow.

002.03 Land Application Site Requirements and Conditions for Unrestricted Public Access Sites

002.03A The treated effluent shall be disinfected prior to land application in an unrestricted public access area. If chlorine or a chlorine compound is used as the disinfection agent the treated effluent must be dechlorinated prior to land application.

002.03B Public access to the land application site shall be prohibited during the actual land application event.

002.03C The permittee shall provide signage located at the land application site(s) containing language prohibiting public access during a land application event and informing the public that effluent is used on the site(s).

002.03D Effluent that is land applied to unrestricted public access sites shall not exceed limits for fecal coliform bacteria of 200 CFUs / 100 ml for a 30 day average and within a month, no more than 10% of the samples shall exceed 400 CFU/100 mL. The monthly average shall be calculated as the geometric mean. Invalid test results for fecal coliform colonies, such as “too numerous to count” (TNTC), will not be accepted and the permittee must retest within 24 hours after obtaining invalid results. The NDEQ shall be notified within 24 hours of a TNTC or other invalid result. The results of the laboratory analysis shall be recorded in the log. A copy of the laboratory analysis shall be attached to the log entry.

003 Single Pass Noncontact Cooling Water

003.01 The requirements and conditions listed in sections 002.02A through 002.02F are all applicable to single pass noncontact cooling water.

003.01A The monitoring frequency for Restricted Public Access Sites shall be, at a minimum, annually. The effluent shall be sampled on the first day of land application.

003.01B Single pass noncontact cooling water used for land application shall originate from either a well or a municipal water source and shall not contain any additives placed in the water after entry into the cooling system.

004 Sewage sludge resulting from domestic, industrial, septic or pretreatment facilities treating compatible type pollutants (i.e. pollutants such as BOD, TSS, ammonia) may be land applied by a facility in accordance to this chapter and their NPDES or Facility pretreatment permit.

004.01 The director shall consider any relevant technical guidance in establishing terms and conditions necessary to protect human health and the environment, including but not limited to the conditions and requirements of 40 CFR part 503 pertaining to Standards For The Use Or Disposal of Sewage Sludge (40 CFR part 503) and/or to the conditions and requirements of 40 CFR part 257 pertaining to Criteria For Classification Of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities And Practices these Federal regulations (40 CFR part 257) are hereby adopted and incorporated by reference.

004.02 The Department may prevent the land application of sewage sludge for any reasonable cause including a facility failing to follow the site restrictions and management practices specified 40 CFR part 503, 40 CFR part 257 and/or section 002.02A and 002.02B of this chapter.

004.03 Sewage Sludge records shall be kept for a minimum of 5 years or as specified in 40 CFR part 503 or 40 CFR part 257.

Enabling Legislation: Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-1505(8).

Legal Citation: Title 119, Chapter 12, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality