Date of this Version
This NebGuide is intended to provide guidelines to help understand and interpret chemical water quality test results.
All well and stream waters contain dissolved minerals. The amounts and kinds of minerals vary from one location to another and may vary with time. When irrigation water is applied, the mineral salts are left in the soil after the crop has used the water. Most of these mineral salts are beneficial to crop growth and soil condition, but in some cases they may be harmful. Irrigation water quality problems may be caused by (1) total mineral salts accumulating so that crops no longer produce well, (2) development of sodic soils (slick spots) or (3) accumulation of toxic levels of elements such as boron.
Fortunately most irrigation water in Nebraska is of good quality. There are exceptions. This NebGuide is intended to provide guidelines to help understand and interpret chemical water quality test results.