The Citizen Scientist FREE Water Monitoring Program
2019 Spring Enrollment Is Open NOW!
The Citizen Scientist Program is a collaboration between the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and GC Resolve. Other participants include various High School Science and FFA Students, various organizations, and dozens of volunteer Citizen Scientists.
The reason we are testing private wells on farms is to give an opportunity for farm families and rural residents to increase awareness about rising contaminants in Eastern Nebraska, and to help improve their health by identifying potential contamination in drinking water supplies from excess nutrients.
Here is the latest data collected by Citizen Scientists from the 2018 Summer Testing Period:
How Does The Program Work?
The University of Nebraska Deparment of Civil Engineering will provide all testing materials to volunteers. Volunteers will measure the concentrations of key nutrients, nitrates, nitrites and phosphates, using rapid test strips that provide an accurate and reliable results in less than 1 minute. All volunteers will receive training (30 minutes) to ensure that they are comfortable with the tools provided.
The information that you collect will be sent to the University of Nebaska, by either mail or email, for analysis. Expert faculty and staff will answer questions and provide feedback to you on the levels of plant nutrients in the water that you tested. As a Citizen Scientist, you will be kept informed about the results of this program and alerted to future opportunities to improve your water resources.
When Will We Be Testing Next?
We are now growing our network of Citizen Scientists for 2019. Dates for 2019 spring testing periods are April 29th - May 20th and the summer testing period is from August 26th - September 9th. If you were a Citizen Scientist in 2018 you are eligible to test again for free.
To Become A Citizen Scientist:
PLEASE CLICK HERE if you want to test your water and live in Burt, Cass, Colfax, Cuming, Butler, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Madison, Platte, Polk, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, Stanton, Thurston, Wayne or Washington Counties.
If you have additional questions please contact:
The proposed Costco Poultry Operation will process 350,000 birds per day and add 17 million new chickens to Northeast Nebraska.
Many Nebraskans are very familiar with the concerns associated with large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO’s). GC Resolve has concerns too. Impacts to water, air quality, socio-economics, horrendous contractual agreements that turn farmers into indentured servants, and labor abuses typically contribute to detrimental effects that diminish a community’s quality of life. In regards to the proposed Costco Poultry Operation near Fremont, area residents are letting their concerns be heard, as many key questions have still not been addressed.
Costco’s proposed operation is unlike anything else our state has seen. The project would process approximately 350,000 chickens per day, with a feed mill and a hatchery, all located in a floodplain adjacent to the Platte River. Discharged waste would be dumped into the Elkhorn River, just upstream from the Ashland wellhead location that provides drinking water for Lincoln residents. Over 17 million chickens will be housed in approximately 450 barns spread out over an 11-county area, all upstream from the Omaha and Lincoln metro areas.
This isn’t the first time we have seen large corporations try to force themselves into our state while hiding from a public discussion. In the recent past, business approaches from the meatpacking and the fossil fuel industries (such as the recent case of TransCanada) have exemplified unethical practices that have left many of us in Nebraska with a bad taste in our mouths. Nebraska is a strong pro-business state, and our principles have guided us towards business practices that respect one another. And most of us do not believe good business means profiting at the expense of other’s well-being.
While there are numerous unanswered questions, one of them is crucial and imperative. If this project were to be allowed, would it further endanger the quality of our state’s precious water resource? This concern does not just apply to Fremont, but also the larger community in Eastern Nebraska, where approximately one million people reside.
Recently experts on water quality have began to chime in. A recent John Hopkins University Research letter written to the Fremont Mayor and City Council highlights concerns to water quality and quantify from large poultry operations, and also raises concerns about air quality.
Nitrate levels in Nebraska have continued to increase with the growth of agriculture industrialization. Excessive nitrate exposure can cause health issues like Blue Baby Syndrome, which can be deadly in infants, and in some cases various forms of cancer, thyroid conditions, reproductive issues, and diabetes.
At a recent League of Women Voters Information Event co-sponsored by 13 other groups, experts raised concerns of the impacts an operation such as the Costco project could have.
Others in Nebraska are starting to take notice as well. Check out this radio interview done by Coby Mach's Drive Time Lincoln: