Point of Use Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Pilot Program

Point of Use Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Pilot Program

The Point of Use Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Pilot Program is intended to aid private well owners whose drinking water nitrates are above the safe drinking water standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Current EPA standards for drinking water nitrate is 10 ppm.

There are different types of water treatment and water treatment systems. For this pilot program, the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District (District) will focus on point of use reverse osmosis water filtration systems with a separate faucet. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems (RO) connect to existing water lines under a sink or refrigerator water dispenser.  Using pressure, water is forced through semi-permeable filters. Contaminants bind to the filter media allowing clean water to pass through.

Properly maintained reverse osmosis water filtration systems will remove drinking water nitrate.

Funding Availability

For approved RO system applications, the maximum cost-share rate is 75% of the actual cost of materials and labor up to $500.00. The minimum cost-share payment is $100.00. During the pilot phase, the amount of NRD funds will not exceed $7,500.00 per fiscal year.

Eligible Cooperators

  • Homeowners connected to a private well as their sole drinking water source. Homeowners connected to a municipal water system are not eligible.
  • Homeowners with a lab analysis of over 10 ppm.
  • Only one filtration system per rural residential parcel.
  • Those landowners who are in compliance with all Upper Big Blue District Rules and Regulations.

Practice Requirements

  1. The domestic well must test over the EPA safe drinking water standard of 10 ppm. Samples may be brought to the Upper Big Blue NRD office at 319 East 25th Street, York, NE for analysis.
  2. A W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) and a Citizenship Attestation Form must accompany the completed application to be considered. These forms are included in the application.
  3. Well registration is not required through this pilot program.
  4. The application must be approved before items can be purchased and installed.
  5. The system must be installed by a licensed plumber or dealer's technician.
  6. Filtration system must fit the ANSI or NSF standards.
  7. Upon completion of the project, the applicant must submit a copy of the receipt and photo of the installation to be eligible for final payment and a receipt of installation from the licensed plumber or dealer’s technician.
  8. Applicant shall submit a post installation water test showing that the system meets the EPA safe drinking water standard of less than 10 ppm. Samples may be brought to the Upper Big Blue NRD office at 319 East 25th Street, York, NE 68467 for analysis.

Eligible Components for Cost-Share Include

  • Point of use faucet
  • Pressure tank
  • Initial System Filter components (not replacement filters)

Ineligible Cost-Share Items

  • Whole home filtration systems
  • Countertop filtration systems
  • End of faucet filtration systems

Approval Process

Approved applications will be notified in writing. Upon approval the applicant will have 90 days to complete the purchase and installation of the RO unit. At the end of the 90-day period all projects not completed will be notified via email that their application has been cancelled. After completion, final invoices must be turned in to the NRD for final payment. Any purchases of materials made prior to NRD approval are not eligible for funding.

Cost Share Rate

The cost-share rate will be 75% of the actual cost for material and labor for the RO unit not to exceed $500.00. The minimum cost share payment is $100.00.


To apply for this cost-share program:

  1. Bring a sample of your water to our office*. (Water Sample Guidelines)
  2. If our lab confirms the sample is above 10 ppm for nitrate, complete the application form and return it to the NRD. You will also need to complete a W-9 and a Citizenship Attestation Form. (Please do not submit these materials electronically, as they contain sensitive ID information.) 
  3. If your application is approved, you will be notified in writing.
  4. Once you have been approved, you will have 90 days to purchase the RO system and have it installed by a licensed plumber or dealer's technician.
  5. When installation is complete, bring your receipts to the NRD along with a sample of water from your newly installed RO system, and a photo of the installed system.
  6. Once staff have confirmed that 1) the RO system is functioning properly by testing the new sample (must be below 10 ppm for nitrate) and 2) all of your documentation is complete, staff will forward your materials to the board of directors for approval for payment. Payment will be in the form of a paper check mailed to you following board approval.
  7. All forms and tests must be completed prior to the 10th of the month in order to process the payment during that month.  

*You may also submit documentation from a state certified lab indicating a water sample of greater than 10 PPM instead of utilizing our lab. Testing costs from another lab, if incurred, are not covered by cost-share.