largest threat to local drinking water quality is the rising
amounts of nitrates. Nitrates are formed from nitrogen. Nitrogen
is most commonly applied as fertilizer, which breaks down in the
soil to nitrates. Eventually the nitrates can leach into the
underground aquifer from which local drinking water is drawn. As
one measure to help protect drinking water and to help educate
the public about nitrates, a wellhead protection area has been
established throughout the community and surrounding areas
The wellhead protection area committee working in conjunction
with grants received from the Nebraska Environmental Trust
(which is supported by lottery revenue) and the Nebraska
Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) is offering
limited time rebates
to residents within the Wellhead Protection Area
that purchase in Hastings
several qualifying items. Rebates are available for mulching
blades for lawn mowers, new mulching mowers and also rain
barrels. Rain barrels collect rain water so that it can be put
to additional use such as watering plants and foliage. Rebate
application forms are available by calling 463-1371 (extensions
664 or 693) or they can be downloaded at the bottom of this
What is a Rain
A rain barrel
is a large container that collects rainwater runoff from your
roof that would have otherwise been lost to storm drains and
other outlets. It sits under the downspouts that convey storm
water runoff from your roof.
Why Use a Rain
barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak
summer months. (A tip to remember: 1 inch of rain on a 1000 sq
ft roof, yields 623 gallons of water. So multiply the sq footage
of your roof my 623 and divide by 1000; which could mean your
rain barrel could fill up with possibly only 1/10th
of an inch of rain.) Because rainwater is naturally soft and
lacking minerals and chemicals, barrels can improve the health
of your gardens, lawns, and trees. They also reduce storm water
runoff, lowering the amount of debris, fertilizer, and other
harmful substances from entering streams and causing erosion,
flooding, and habitat destruction. Last but not least, they
provide an emergency source of water, capable of saving gardens
and landscapes during dry stretches.
Why use Mulching
Clippings are around 90% water, therefore, if you leave them on
the lawn, you can water less. Clippings also make great
fertilizer, containing nitrogen and other nutrients that help
lawns flourish. If you leave clippings on the lawn, it
discourages development of fungal diseases. Also, you will not
be placing your clippings in a landfill. All in all, you save
money by applying less fertilizer and cutting down on water use.
New mulching blades are
eligible for a $10/blade rebate, limit three blades.
New mulching mowers are
eligible for a $50 rebate.
Rain barrels are eligible for
up to a $75 rebate.
reside in the Wellhead Protection Area.
(click here for map)
- All items must be
purchased in Hastings, Nebraska.
Limit of one rebate per
household per qualifying item.
Purchase of qualifying item(s)
must have taken place after April 17, 2010.
Incomplete rebate applications
and those lacking a copy of purchase receipts will be
Purchased items are subject to
inspection by a representative of Hastings Utilities.
a qualifying item.
Complete an application form
for the rebate.
Return completed application
form and a copy of a legible purchase receipt to Hastings
Utilities. Purchase receipt must include the customerís full
name and address, date of purchase, purchase price,
equipment make and model numbers.
HU staff receives reviews and
inspects the application and purchased item(s).
Upon approval, rebate amount
is sent directly to customer that applies for the rebate.
more information about this limited time rebate program call
Hastings Utilities at 463-1371 (extension 664 or 693).
Rebates will occur only as long
as available funding remains.