Chemigation is a technology that has made it easy to apply chemicals and irrigate a crop at one time. However, the convenience can sometimes pose a threat to the ground water supply.

“Any time chemigation is employed, one must take precautions to ensure the chemicals injected into the water do not find their way into the ground water supply,” said Arnold Husky, water use division director for High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No.1.

“The best precautions one can take are chemigation check valves.”

Without chemigation check valves, chemicals can back flow into the well, and contaminate the ground water supply. Chemigation check valves are mandated by Texas law and are encouraged by the water district.

“In addition, back flow check valves are important. This keeps water from flowing back into the well,” Husky said. “When water flows back into a well, the potential for contamination is present.

“We want to make sure our water supply is safe, so we are now checking all wells for chemigation check valves and back flow check valves,” Husky said. “It is state law, and we would like to help the producers and make them aware of the law.”

If a water district field technician finds a well being used to chemigate without check valves, the landowner will receive a friendly reminder letter to install these devices as soon as possible. The field technician will return to the well 30 days later to make sure the check valves were installed properly.

Chemigation and back flow check valves are available through any irrigation dealer. If producers have questions or would like assistance, contact Arnold Husky, water use division director, at 2930 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411-2499, or at (806) 762-0181. His e-mail address is ahusky@hpwd.com.