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Best Management Practice

What it is:
      A cost share program to promote the installation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce sediment, nutrient, bacteria and other pollutant loading of streams and lakes in the watershed.

What has been accomplished so far: 
      A variety of BMPs have been installed in the watershed each year since 2009.  Funding levels vary each year as do the type of projects installed.  

Examples of completed projects:
  • A large cropland erosion control project in Atchison County which involved installing 3 large sediment control structures and more than 2,000 linear feet of underground outlet pipe.  This project will reduce sediment loading to Clear Creek by an estimated 473 tons/year.
  • Geotextile fabric and rock bunkline feeding pad approximately installed in a newly relocated feedlot in Nemaha County.  The feedlot was moved to a new location in order to reduce water quality impacts.  This project also included the installation of a large waste containment lagoon installed through the NRCS – EQIP program.
  • Multiple sediment debris basins and diversions installed in several crop fields in high priority areas.  These structures are placed at the edge of fields adjacent to streams where concentrated flow collects or at the end of waterways that have become unstable.  The goal is to eliminate erosion and ditches at these points of concentration by capturing and slowly conveying water into the receiving stream via an underground outlet. 
  • Installation of off-stream watering systems for livestock.  These reduce livestock impacts on riparian areas and cut down on the amount of livestock waste that is deposited in streams.
  • Fencing and livestock watering facilities to promote rotational grazing systems which reduce livestock waste loads entering streams.
Why is the Program needed: 
      Sediment, excessive nutrients and bacteria have been identified as the three most important non-point source pollutants in the watershed.  Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for Bacteria and Nutrients have been established for the watershed area.  The BMPs implemented through this Program directly address one or more of these three major pollutants.

Positive outcomes expected:
      BMP Program funding is targeted to areas of the watershed where impacts from erosion, livestock wastes and other pollutants are the greatest and where BMP implementation can produce the greatest benefit, thereby enhancing the impact of available funding.  If BMP implementation is accomplished at the levels identified in the Delaware River Watershed Plan, it is expected that water quality goals established by the watershed plan will be achieved.

What practices are eligible for this Program:

BMPs eligible for implementation through this Program fall into four general categories: 

  1. Cropland BMPs –practices implemented on cropland acres that will reduce sediment and nutrient loading of streams.  Examples include cover crops, no-till, water retention or sediment debris basins, waterways, establishing permanent vegetation, subsurface fertilizer application, riparian buffers, terraces, etc.
  2. Livestock BMPs – practices established to reduce bacteria, nutrient and sediment loading of streams associated with livestock wastes or livestock impacts on riparian areas.  Examples include off-stream watering systems, relocation of feeding sites or pens, planting filter strips, rotational grazing, fencing, etc.
  3. Gully Control BMPs – grade control structures and other practices that control gully erosion caused by concentrated runoff.  Examples include sediment debris basins, grade stabilization structures, constructed wetlands, tile outlet diversions, etc.  High priority is given to gully control measures installed in and near riparian areas of streams.
  4. Streambank Stabilization BMPs – practices established to reduce erosion occurring within stream channels and along streambanks.  Examples include re-sloping of vertical eroding banks, bioengineered stabilization measures (such as tree planting, installation of willow poles, cedar revetments), etc.
Funding and Technical Assistance Sources:
      Funding for the BMP Program is provided by a grant from the Kansas Dept. of Health & Environment through a U.S. EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant, and through Kansas State Water Plan Funds.  The BMP Program pays a percentage of the actual cost of installing approved practices directly to landowners or operators.  Practices must be installed as designed according to standards, specifications or other guidelines for the practice.