Hydroseeding is available to municipalities for erosion control, ditch and bank stabilization, and seeding or reseeding a lawn or disturbed area. Mulch, seed, fertilizer, lime, a tackifying agent, and water are mixed in a tank and then sprayed onto the soil. This method is fast, uniform, promotes quick seed germination, and decreases soil erosion.

Water Testing Program

Residents and business owners can find out if their drinking and swimming water is safe.  The District hosts the program from May through September for municipalities, residents, and businesses with certified results.

  • Kit 1

    Unchlorinated Water Bacteriological – total coliform / E. coli qualitative (presence/absence):  $ 35.00

    Unchlorinated Water Bacteriological – total coliform / E. coli quantitative (enumerated):  $ 45.00

  • Kit 2

    Chlorinated Water Bacteriological – total coliform / E. coli qualitative (presence/absence):  $ 35.00

    Chlorinated Water Bacteriological – total coliform / E. coli quantitative (enumerated):  $ 45.00

  • Kit 3

    Lead and Copper:  $45.00

  • Kit 4

    Water Quality (total hardness, calcium hardness, chloride, sulfate, fluoride, turbidity, conductivity, alkalinity):  $105.00 

Pick Up a Kit

Water test kits with instructions are available at select town offices and at all times in the lower vestibule of the District office, 103 County View Drive, Lake Pleasant. Kits cannot be shipped.

Follow instructions in the kit.  Water samples must be collected on the morning of the delivery date, refrigerated from time of sampling, and chilled during delivery to the District.  Be sure water samples do not freeze.  Lab analysis will be performed by the Mohawk Valley Water Authority, and certified results will be sent to you directly from the lab.

2024 Drop-Off Dates

Water samples and payment may be dropped off at the District office on the following dates, 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM:

  • Monday, May 20, 2024
  • Monday, June 17, 2024
  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Monday, August 19, 2024
  • Monday, September 16, 2024


District staff will deliver water samples to the lab, an analysis will be conducted, and certified results will be sent directly from the lab.

Adirondack Tree and Shrub Sale

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District is proud to offer a wide variety of bare root seedlings, and ground covers to be used for erosion control, wildlife habitat improvement, beautification, Christmas trees, windbreaks, and wood product production. Shrubs and evergreens provide food and cover for song and game birds, rabbits, deer, and other wildlife. Plantings act as screens that protect your home from harsh weather and provide privacy. In an effort to stop the spread of invasive species, ALL plants offered are non-invasive in New York State, and the majority are native.

Check back for information about the 2025 sale.

Agricultural Environmental Management

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District is connecting with Hamilton County farmers and agricultural producers to inform them about the benefits of participating in our Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program. The primary goal of AEM is to protect the freshwater resources of Hamilton County while supporting the different agricultural pursuits of Hamilton County residents.  For more information, or to enroll, contact District Technician Katie WhitKovits.

What is AEM?

AEM is a voluntary, incentive-based program that helps farmers and producers make cost-effective and science-based decisions to help achieve business objectives. The program is led by local Soil and Water Conservation Districts across New York State with a focus on local and watershed-wide environmental concerns, farm-specific conservation practices, and individual farm business objectives.

Farmers work with local resource professionals to develop comprehensive farm plans using a five-tiered process. AEM is designed to work with farmers to further protect important natural resources. By participating in AEM, farmers can document their environmental stewardship and further advance their positive contributions to their communities, our food systems, the economy, and the environment. For more information, visit the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets website.

Who is AEM For?

Many agricultural operations are eligible, including:

  • Maple syrup producers
  • Forestry
  • Greenhouses
  • Fruit, vegetable, or tree farms
  • Horse, dairy, or other pastureland
  • Riding stables
  • Hayfields
  • Vineyards

How Does AEM Work?

All farmers and producers, large or small, are encouraged to join our AEM program. Being part of the Hamilton County AEM Program qualifies you to receive assistance in developing a plan that is best for your operation and our freshwater resources. AEM is voluntary and confidential.

The AEM framework is designed to help farmers/producers make environmentally conscientious decisions about their land and address natural resource concerns. We will help you achieve your business objectives while ensuring that local, state, and federal water quality goals are met.

AEM uses a 5-tiered, voluntary approach to (1) gauge interest, (2) assess existing stewardship and environmental concerns, (3) develop farm-specific conservation plans, (4) implement the best management practices identified in the plan, and (5) update plans and conservation practices over time.

The AEM 5-Tiered Approach

  • Tier 1

    District staff will meet with farmers to fill out a short questionnaire to establish basic information on the farming operation and identify potential natural resource concerns, opportunities, and farmer interest.

  • Tier 2

    Worksheets help farmers understand and document current environmental practices while assessing potential environmental concerns.

  • Tier 3

    Local teams of resource professionals help farmers develop environmental farm plans to address concerns identified in Tier 1 and 2.

  • Tier 4

    AEM partners provide technical, educational, and/or financial assistance to help farmers implement priority practices from their Tier 3 environmental farm plans.

  • Tier 5

    Opportunity to evaluate and update plans and/or implemented practices to ensure continued environmental conservation and farm viability.

Septic Systems

Septic System Inspection Program

District staff are certified in the Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Network and completed comprehensive training with classroom and field components that focused on regulatory updates, understanding septic system components and soil conditions, and how to maintain a healthy environment.

To schedule a septic system inspection:

  • 1 The home or business owner voluntarily contacts Senior District Technician Lenny Croote, requesting a septic system inspection.
  • 2 Lenny coordinates a date and time with the home or business owner and the owner's choice of a septic system pumping service. The septic system inspection will occur before and after the tank pump-out on the same day.
  • 3 During the inspection, Lenny collects data on the current condition of the leach field and septic system. Additionally, a map is created showing the location of the system.
  • 4 Lenny provides a report to the home or business owner, keeps one on record at the Conservation District, and sends a copy to municipalities upon request.
  • 5 The septic system inspection fee is $200.00 (price subject to change). The cost for the tank pump-out is determined by the private contractor.

Septic System Dye Kits

The District sells septic system dye kits for $5 that include tablets and instructions.  Simply dissolve non-toxic tablets in a small pail of water and pour directly into the septic tank.  Observe your leach field and surrounding area for several days.  If the colored dye appears in your lawn, nearby stream, waterway, or water body, your septic system or leaching system may not be functioning properly.  Contact installer for repair advice.

Invasive Species

The integrity of Hamilton County's natural resources is threatened by invasive species! Invasive species are plants and animals that have been introduced beyond the borders of their historic range. They displace native species and cause economic, ecological, and societal harm. Spread prevention, early detection, and rapid response are the best methods for combating this threat.

The District collaborates closely with the Adirondack PRISM to ensure that our county has an effective strategy to help prevent new species from being introduced and control established populations. For a comprehensive look at invasive species in the Adirondacks, please visit the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) website.

District Initiatives

  • Stop the spread with "Clean, Drain, Dry"
  • Monitor lands and waters for invasive species
  • Manage invasive plants
  • Be a resource for lake associations and other community organizations
  • Offer community and classroom presentations
  • Offer non-invasive seedlings for our Adirondack Tree and Shrub Sale
  • Partner with the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

Invasive Plant Best Management Practices

  • A permit must be obtained from the Adirondack Park Agency if the invader to be controlled is located in or within 100ft of a wetland on public or private land.
  • Private property owners are allowed to apply general-use herbicide products (Roundup Pro Max and Roundup Pro Concentrate) on their own property for invasive species control. In all instances, the herbicide product label is the law and must be read and followed accordingly.
  • All herbicide applications in or around surface waters or wetlands should be made by a New York State-certified pesticide applicator.
  • Spot treatments to individual plants using a backpack or hand sprayer, wick applicator, cloth glove applicator, stem injection system, herbicide clippers, etc., are allowed for use during herbicide applications.
  • During manual management, bag all plant material in a heavy-duty garbage bag and leave it outside in the sun for a couple of weeks. Dispose of bags in a landfill. For woody invasive shrubs, excavate or dig up while not in fruit and dry with roots propped upwards for a few weeks. Burn dead material or use it to construct brush piles for wildlife habitat improvement.
  • To prevent the spread of invasive plants, manage when plants are not in seed. All management equipment should be thoroughly rinsed off with water before the next use.
  • If you have removed invasive plants from your property and would like to replace them with native alternatives, contact the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District for recommendations.
  • Be persistent, as plants may grow back. For larger infestations, complete elimination may take several years of consistent management.

How You Can Stop the Spread

You can help stop the spread of invasive species in Hamilton County and beyond.

  • Clean all mud, plants, and animals from your trailer, watercraft, seaplane, gear, clothes, shoes, and pets. Dispose of it in the garbage or on dry land.
  • Drain water from the livewell, bilge, motor, hull, and bait containers before leaving the launch.
  • Dry boats, trailers, and gear for at least 5 days before launching into another water body.
  • Visit a boat inspection and decontamination station and have your watercraft checked for invasive and washed by a steward of the Paul Smith's Adirondack Watershed Institute.
  • Do Not Release Live Bait Into Water Bodies.
  • Do Not Release Former Aquarium Pets or Plants Into the Wild.
  • Plant Native Plants, Not Invasive.
  • Don't move firewood. Green firewood may contain invasive insects. Burn the wood where you buy it.
  • Monitor and Manage Invasive on Your Property or in Your Lake.
  • Survey for Invasive Species.
  • Report Invasive Species to Your Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District.
  • Schedule an invasive species presentation for your organization or class. Presentations may be geared for any age group and can include an outdoor lab.
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