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The SWCD has partnered with Heidelberg University's National Center for Water Quality Research to offer resdents the opportunity to have their well water tested.l  If your drinking water comes from a private well, you are responsible for your water's safety.  If you have never had your water supply tested, it is always a good idea to educate yourself on what is present in your drinking water and also provide yourself with some baseline information in the event there are changes in the future that may impact the quality of your water supply.  Should you test your well water?  Your well has an increased likelihood of contamination if:* your well is more than 20 years old* your well was dug or driven rather than drilled* your well is shallow* your soil is sandy* a chemical spill is known to have happened nearby* your well is near possible sources of contamination, such as: cropland, feedlots, landfills, industrial sites, active or abandoned 
  Even if your well fits none of these categories, you cannot know the quality of your water without testing. Contaminants may have entered the ground without your knowledge or before you lived at the site.
 Test kits available are:

Nitrate / Inorganic Suite                            $25.00  Includes nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, soluble phosphorus, silica, and conductivity.
Pesticide Immunoassay Screen               $60.00  Detects major herbicides such as atrazine (Aatrex), simazine (Princep), alachlor (Lasso), metolachlor (Dual), and acetochlor (Harness).
Metals by ICP / MS                                  $75.00  Includes antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, aluminum, copper, iron, maganese, zinc, nickel, sodium, calcium, strontium, cobalt, magnesium, potassium, silica, and vanadium.
The test kits will be for sale Monday, October 1 through Friday, October 12, 2018.  The samples need returned to the Van Wert SWCD between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on MONDAY, OCTOBER 15.Participants can expect their confidential results back in 2-4 weeks from Heidelberg University.

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is calling on Ohioans for a second year of Milkweed pod collections!  This project started in 2015 as a 7 county pilot and last year hundreds of Ohioans worked together.  Since then the volunteers have collected approximately 5,000 gallons of common milkweed seed pods, totaling over 22 million seeds!
Milkweed is the only host plant for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs as well as many other pollinator species.  The disappearance of milkweed across the US has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. We are working hard to change this, and you can help!
Here are some helpful tips for collecting:-  make sure that before you collect seed, you become familiar with the common milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane or swamp milkweed-  It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey, or brown-  If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be harvested-  Store the pods in paper bags (plastic bags collect moisture)-  Put the date and county collected on the bag when you turn them in-  Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them
Collection starts September 1 and goes til October 30.  The Van Wert SWCD has a pod collection bin which is located outside the office door at 1185 Professional Drive, Van Wert.
For more information on milkweeds refer to a video at : http://u.osu.edu/beelab/milkweed-seed/

Senate Bill 1, signed into law by Governor Kasich in April, prohibits the spreading of manure, chemical fertilizer, and sewer sludge on frozen ground, saturated ground, and under certain weather forecast conditions. Before Senate Bill 1 Ohio has had rules restricting manure application for years.  Specifically, Ohio Administrative Code 1501:15-5-05 states: Each owner, operator, animal manure applicator, or person responsible for land application of manure from an animal feeding operation shall minimize pollution from occurring on land application areas...  This existing pollution abatement rule is still in effect statewide.  Senate Bill 1, which became effective July 3, 2015, clarifies and enhances the restrictions on manure application within the WLEB.  The specific provisions of the new restrictions on manure application are:

No person in the WLEB shall surface apply manure under any of the following circumstances:

  • on snow-covered or frozen soil
  • when the top two inches or soil are saturated from precipitation
  • when the local weather forecast for the application area contains a greater than 50% chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a twenty-four-hour period.

The restrictions on the surface application of manure do not apply under any of the following circumstances:

  • The manure is injected into the ground.
  • The manure is incorporated within twenty-four hours of surface application
  • The manure is applied onto a growing crop.
  • In the event of an emergency, the Chief of the Division of Soil & Water Resources or the Chief's designee provides written consent and the manure application is made in accordance with procedures eslished in the USDA NRCS practice standard code 590 prepared for Ohio.

 The applicant must be in compliance with procedures established in the USDA/NRCS practice standard code 590 for Ohio. 


Since 1989, water samples have been collected from Town Creek, area municipalities, and rural wells on a regular basis.  They are tested for nitrates, phosphates, and pesticides.  The results show that Van Wert County is fortunate to have quality water available.  Funding for thiis program has been provided by the Van Wert County Foundation and will ensure continued monitoring and protection of our water in the future.

2017 LTWQS Book

Since 1949, the Van Wert Soil and Water Conervation District has worked to assist local communities in the stewardship of Ohio's water, soil and other natural resources.  As algea blooms and nutrient management issues in several Ohio lakes intensify,the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (OFSWCD) and the Van Wert SWCD have launched the 4R Tomorrow program to encourage and engage all Ohioans in protecting and improving wate quality.

"Water quality a critical issue because it affects the quality of life of all Ohioans - not just the folks who live near or utilize the waterways that are dealing with the algae blooms," said OFSWCD President Kent Stuckey.  "While farmers and the agricultural industry are a source of nutrients that may cause the algae blooms, they are not the only source.  Anyone that uses fertilizers, chemicals or other nutrients on yards, landscaping, building sites, etc. are potential contributors as well," he said. "The good news is that with a few changes, all sources of excess nutrients can be minimized. And in this case, every individual can be a part of the solution!"

The 4R Tomorrow program, developed with support of the Ohio SOybean Council, promotes nutrient stewardship, water management, and backyard conservation to protect water quality in local communities and waterways across Ohio.  As part of the program, OFSWCD and conservation districts across the state are reaching out to farmers, homeowners, business owners and other ocmmunity stakeholders to help them understand how implementing stewardship practices in their daily lives can positively impact Ohio's natural resources.

The Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program has been extended through      June 30, 2018 or until the authorized budget of funds are expended.

CREP provides assistance and payments to farmers who protect their land by establishing grass buffer strips, planting trees, and creating wetlands along the lake's tributary stream.

The CREP conservation practice options are:

  • introduced and native grasses/legumes in filter, recharge and other areas
  • restoring wetlands in non-floodplain areas
  • planting rare and declining habitat covers
  • establishing conservation buffers on marginal pasture land

The program will run on a continuous basis until the authorized budget of funds are expended.  Enrolled land remains under a CREP contract for 14-15 years.