Introduction Indiana Farmstead Assessment for Drinking Water Protection

Drinking water is a precious resource for all Indiana residents; and protecting the quality of our drinking water supplies is an important objective for everyone. If you are on a public water supply, the water utility regularly tests and treats the water before piping it to your home. Private well owners are responsible for testing and treating their own water supply, and for protecting the well from potential contamination due to nearby activities.

Farmers in particular should be proactive in protecting their drinking water supply. A farmstead is a busy place with many potential sources of drinking water contamination (see the diagram below). The risk of contamination depends on factors such as distance from the well and chemical handling practices.

Are my practices affecting my drinking water?

Look around your farm and ask yourself, "Are my practices and facilities affecting mydrinking water supply?" The Farmstead Assessment package is designed to help you answer this question. You can use the package to identify and correct situations that present a high risk of water contamination. Some risk factors may be relatively easy to change while others may be difficult or impossible (e.g., soil and geology).

While field practices also have the potential to contaminate drinking water, the INDIANA FARMSTEAD ASSESSMENT is not designed to address this concern. This program focuses on the potential effect of farmstead practices and structures on drinking water, especially ground water supplying private wells. Surface water impacts are also considered.


The INDIANA FARMSTEAD ASSESSMENT SYSTEM is a package of 10 surveys about different farmstead practices and structures. The surveys have questions that will help you assess the risk of drinking water contamination posed by a specific practice or structure. A final survey (Survey11) asks questions about the soil, geologic and hydrologic characteristics of your farmstead.

Each survey has an accompanying fact sheet containing guidelines for best management practices as well as references to Indiana regulations where applicable. Fact sheets also list contacts and references for further assistance.

Your Farmstead Assessment information is confidential. What you do with the informationis up to you. You may decide to make several changes or do nothing at all. Either way, you will have gained a better understanding of how to protect your drinking water supply.


Step 1.

Step 2.

Read the accompanying fact sheet for further information and references.

Step 3.

Take action. Record the date of your assessment and what you did with the information for future reference. Use the space provided on the divider sheet for each assessment topic. If you are concerned about your risk assessment score,contact your local extension educator or natural resource agency for technical assistance.

Disclaimer: Information derived from INDIANA FARMSTEAD ASSESSMENT is intended only to provide general information and recommendations to landowners regarding their own farmstead practices. This Assessment is not a definitive checklist for compliance withIndiana laws.


INDIANA FARMSTEADASSESSMENT is based on the Farmstead Assessment System (Farm*A*Syst) developed by the University of Wisconsin-Extension Service; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the doctoral dissertation of Karla Embleton, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering;Purdue University; and work by Joe Eigel, formerly of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University. A computer tutorial for Farmstead Assessment, created by Dr. Embleton, is available on CD-ROM.To order, contact the Center for Technology Transfer and Pollution Prevention, 1146 Agricultural and Biological Engineering Bldg., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1146. Telephone: 317/497-1172

Technical reviewers and authors:

	Mark Basch 	Engineering Geologist, Indiana Department 
			of NaturalResources, Division of Water

	Sarah Brichford Extension Water Quality Specialist, Department 
			of Agronomy,Purdue University 

	Dawn Boston 	Director, Wildcat Creek Solid Waste District 
	Randy Carson 	Engineering Specialist, Office of Indiana 
			State Chemist 

	Mike Hancock 	Fertilizer Administrator, Office of Indiana 
			State Chemist 

	Don Jones 	Extension Agricultural Engineer, Department 
			of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 
			Purdue University

	Sam Parsons 	Extension Agricultural Engineer, Department 
			of Agriculturaland Biological Engineering, 
			Purdue University 

	Terri Swoveland	Program Specialist, Indiana Department of 
			Natural Resources,Division of Water 

	Fred Whitford 	Coordinator, Purdue Pesticide Programs, 
			Purdue University 

	Joe Yahner 	Extension Agronomist, Department of Agronomy,
			Purdue University

Editor: Cheri Janssen, Technical Writer/Editor, Department of
Agronomy, Purdue University 

INDIANA FARMSTEAD ASSESSMENT Program Coordinators: Sarah Brichford, Cheri Janssen and Joe Yahner, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University.

Additional copies of WQ 22 INDIANA FARMSTEAD ASSESSMENT may be obtained from your local Purdue Cooperative Extension office or from Media Distribution Center, 301 South Second Street, Lafayette, IN 47901-1232. Phone: 317/494-6494 or 1-888/EXT-INFO

This publication was funded by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 319 grant from theIndiana Department of Environmental Management (contract number 93-405A3). A portion of publication expenses were provided by the USDA Hydrologic Unit Area programs in Indiana: Upper Tippecanoe River, project number 94-EHUA-0-0075; and Tri-County, project number 91-EHUA-1-0070.

Reviewed 5/1/01

For more information contact Jane Frankenberger (
or Brent Ladd (
or call the Purdue Extension Safe Water office at 765-496-6331

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