Floodwater Sandbag Re-use and Disposal
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  11-025
Guidance Documents
Revised: 12/7/16


The department has developed this guidance document to provide Nebraskans information to help manage sandbags and related materials (e.g. sand used to fill sandbags) that have been in contact with floodwaters. These materials may be contaminated with human and animal waste, oil and gasoline residue, and farm chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
  • Sand or sandbags that have not contacted floodwater can be reused without restrictions.
  • Sand or sandbags that have contacted floodwater should not be reused in ways that would involve direct human contact, such as in children’s play areas or residential gardening.
  • Sand or sandbags that are contaminated with oil or fecal matter, for example, should be disposed as waste at a permitted municipal solid waste landfill. However, sand may be used as fill (see below). If there is a reasonable expectation that the sand or sandbags could contain hazardous waste, contact NDEQ for proper disposal regulations.
  • Sand or sandbags that are not contaminated may be disposed as waste at a permitted construction and demolition debris disposal area or municipal solid waste landfill.
  • Sand that has come in contact with floodwater or has been contaminated may be used as “fill” in accordance with Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations, Chapter 2, §002.01A. ““Fill” shall mean solid waste that consists only of one or more of the following: sand, gravel, stone, soil, rock, brick, concrete rubble, asphalt rubble, or similar material.” There should be no direct human contact, and an evaluation of potential impacts to groundwater may be required.cts to groundwater may be required.
RESOURCES:
Contacts:
  • NDEQ Waste Management Section (402) 471-4210
  • NDEQ Toll Free Number (877) 253-2603
  • NDEQ Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistance (402) 471-8308
  • Email questions to: NDEQ.moreinfo@nebraska.gov
NDEQ Publications:
  • NDEQ Guidance Document – Natural Disaster Debris Management
Guidance is available on the NDEQ Home Page under “Publications & Forms”
  • Title 128 – Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations
  • Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations
Titles are available on the NDEQ Home Page under “Laws/Regs & EQC”, “Rules & Regulations”

Produced by: Waste Management Section, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922; phone (402) 471-4210. To view this, and other information related to our agency, visit our web site at http://deq.ne.gov/. This material is intended for guidance purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for the regulations found in Title 128 – Nebraska Hazardous Waste Regulations, Title 132 – Integrated Solid Waste Management Regulations, or other applicable Nebraska environmental regulations.