Well Water Testing Services

The Vermillion County SWCD works with the Indiana State Department of Health to provide accurate well water testing services to Vermillion County residents. Residents needing wells tested can pick up supplies from the SWCD office. The SWCD currently stocks testing supplies for bacteria, nitrates and metals.

For testing supplies, please contact the office to make arrangements.

Current Indiana State Department of Health Well Water Testing Fees

Bacteria (E.coli and Total Coliform) $10 per sample

Nitrates/Nitrites $10 per sample

Metals (Lead, Copper and Arsenic) $20 per sample

Overnight shipping fees are approximately $31.00 and must be shipped from the SWCD office by 1pm to arrive at ISDH Labs by 10:30 the next day.

SWCD only ships Tuesday – Thursdays

SWCD staff is available to come and take your samples and ship them to the Indiana State Department of Health Environmental Labs for testing.

Soil Sampling for Garden, Turf and Landscaping

The basis of a great garden is healthy soil. Soil testing is the best way to make sure your soil is as healthy as it can be. Over fertilizing can damage the plants or simply waste money. Under fertilizing or using the wrong fertilizer can produce little to no production.
Basic soil tests commonly measure organic matter, pH, phosphorus and potassium. Home improvement stores or online resources sell test kits for “at home” testing. For the most accurate tests, the use of commercial testing services is recommended. A list of soil testing facilities is listed below. This is not a comprehensive list and does not serve as an endorsement to the exclusion of other facilities that might provide similar services.
In most cases, you will need to collect enough soil from several locations to mix thoroughly and provide enough soil to fill a zip close sandwich bag. Make sure to refer to the testing services sampling requirements before collecting your samples. Soil testing typically be done every 3 – 5 years.

Soil Testing Labs

A&L Great Lakes Laboratories, Inc.
3505 Conestoga Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46808-4413
Phone: (260) 483-4759
Fax: (260) 483-5274
E-mail: [email protected]

Lawn & Garden Soil Analysis, $20.00. Includes Soil pH, Buffer pH, Available Phosphorus, Exchangeable Potassium, Organic Matter, Magnesium, Calcium, Cation Exchange Capacity, and Percent Base Saturation of Cation Elements. Provides graphic display of results and suggested fertilizer materials for lawn, garden and landscape.
UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Lab
West Experiment Station
682 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: (413) 545-2311
Fax: (413) 545-1931
E-mail: [email protected]
Several different tests are offered the University of Massachusetts lab including the following): 1) Standard Soil Test ($10.00) – Provides pH, Buffer pH, Extractable Nutrients, Extractable Heavy Metals (eg. Lead), Cation Exchange Capacity, and Percent Base Saturation. Recommendations for nutrient and pH adjustment are included with results. 2) Standard Soil Test with Organic Matter ($15.00) – Same as Standard Soil Test plus a determination and interpretation of the organic matter in the soil sample.

Woodland Owners

The VCSWCD provides a subscription to the Indiana Woodland Steward Magazine to any woodland property owner in the county. If you own wooded property in Vermillion County and do not receive this publication, please contact the office to receive your complimentary subscription.

Rule 5

Construction/Land Disturbance Storm Water Permitting327 IAC 15-5, Rule 5

The requirements of Rule 5 now apply to all persons who are involved in construction activity that results in the disturbance of one (1) acred of total land area.

This includes:

• Clearing

• Grading

• Excavation

• Other land disturbing activities

If the land disturbing activity results in the disturbance of less than one (1) acre of total land area, but is part of a larger common plan of development or sale, the project is still subject to storm water permitting.

For more information check out their website.

Step by Step Process for Compliance with 327 IAC 15-5IDEM administers Rule 5 in cooperation with local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The SWCD’s play a significant role in implementation of 327 IAC 15-5.

Rule 5 requires the development of a Construction Plan. An integral part of the Construction Plan is a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan addresses several issues. First, the plan outlines how erosion and sedimentation will be controlled on the project site to minimize the discharge of sediment off-site or to a waters of the state. Second, the plan addresses other pollutants that may be associated with construction activity. This can include disposal of building materials, management of fueling operations, etc. Finally, the plan should also address pollutants that will be associated with the post construction land use.

Additional information on this process can be found at

Indiana Storm Water Quality ManualThe Indiana Storm Water Quality Manual provides guidelines and specific storm water quality measures for controlling soil erosion; controlling and treating the non-point source pollution associated with sediment-laden runoff; and the management and treatment of pollutants associated with post-construction land uses. Adhering to these guidelines and properly applying appropriate storm water quality measures will help minimize the adverse impacts that land disturbance, construction activity, and development can have on soil and water resources, and ultimately, the cost of impacts to society as a whole. In addition to a variety of storm water quality measures, the manual also discusses the philosophy and planning procedures critical to developing an effective storm water pollution prevention plan.

You can see the planning and specification guide for effective erosion and sediment control at:

Wildlife Food Plot Seed

The five pound package is enough seed to plant a food plot that is approximately one-half acre in size. Where possible, the food plot should be located near natural cover and long and narrow in shape. The optimal location and shape ensures that small species do not have to move long distances in winter to find food and the food plot has the maximum amount of edge for wildlife use. Each seed package contains a mixture of: seed corn, sunflowers, millet, milo, oats, peas, wheat and buckwheat.  Contact the SWCD office beginning in April for availability.

Roller/Crimper Rental

The new roller/crimper is designed to terminate cover crops without the use of chemicals. The roller/crimper allows producers to lay down a weed suppressing cover crop mat which can be done before or after planting the cash crop. If used correctly and with the right cover crop mix, herbicide rates can be drastically reduced if not eliminated.

The roller/crimper will be available for rent through the SWCD office beginning this spring. Carter Morgan, SWCD Soil Health Consultant and SWCD Staff will be available to discuss how to utilize the roller/crimper in your operation!

Soil Health Consultant

Parke and Vermillion Count SWCD’s welcome Carter Morgan as the new Soil Health Consultant and Conservation Technician. Carter’s position is funded through the new three year Clean Water Indiana Grant. Carter is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Agriculture Systems Management. He is very active in his family’s farming operation, Morgan Brothers, LLC.

Carter’s goals for this new venture is to increase awareness for soil health and water quality in the area. He also hope to assist producers in managing nutrients better and increase no-till acres across the two counties. Carter will also be active in assisting producers enrolled in the INField Advantage program.

Swarming Bees Removal

Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees.

If you see a swarm of bees in your yard or around our local communities, please call our office and we can get a bee keeper there to safely remove the swarm. Bees are one of our greatest pollinators and we need to keep them safe. Help protect our pollinators!