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Water Q & A - Elevated water level near a Lagoon

Lagoon, Nebraska Extension Acreage Insights March 2018.

Do you have questions about your private drinking water supply?  How about wellhead protection, including the management of your private sewage treatment system?  Send your questions to Nebraska Extension Educator Meghan Sittler, Nebraska Extension Specialist Bruce Dvorak,  and/or  Nebraska Extension Educator Katie Pekarek. One question and answer will be featured each month in this section of the acreage web site.

Q: Over the past several months I’ve noticed that the water level within my wastewater lagoon continues to increase and stay at a higher than normal level. What is happening with my lagoon?

Meghan: Lagoons, when functioning properly, should maintain near a constant water level. This indicates that discharge into the lagoon from the home is appropriate as is the treatment processes occurring within the lagoon itself.  If the lagoon maintains an elevated water level for a prolonged period of time it may be time to examine operation and maintenance of the lagoon and practices within your home.  More than likely a “spike” in water levels that pushes the water level up within the lagoon is the result of a change of wastewater flowing into the lagoon.  A leak within your home, such as one caused by an issue with the plumbing or appliances, allows a near constant flow of water out of your home into the lagoon.  The lagoon, like all wastewater systems, is designed to handle a daily flow.  Leaks or new fixtures installed within the home after the design of the lagoon increase the amount of wastewater discharged into the lagoon. This does not allow the treatment process to occur correctly.  While this can also indicate some additional potential issues with the lagoons structure and function is most commonly associated with a problem or change within your home. 

Meghan Sittler
Meghan Sittler
Extension Educator - Domestic Water & Wastewater
Meghan's education includes a master's degree in natural resources with minors in political science and environmental planning. She also has a graduate certification in public policy analysis, as well as undergraduate degrees in environmental studies and anthropology from UNL. Her graduate project was focused on the development of collaborative and adaptive management for the Missouri River.

Sittler began as coordinator of the Lower Platte River Corridor Alliance in December 2008. Prior to that, Sittler worked for the National Park Service as an archaeological technician, an environmental educator with the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department, an adviser and instructor with the UNL Environmental Studies program and School of Natural Resources and as a research and outreach specialist for the National Drought Mitigation Center. Meghan began her work as a Nebraska Extension Educator focussing on water in 2016.

Lancaster County Extension Office
444 Cherrycreek Rd
Lincoln NE 68528-1591