Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District



The District provides technical assistance to municipalities and landowners to enhance and repair culverts and bridge crossings. Adequately sized and properly installed culverts prevent flooding and enhance fish passage.

District staff members are certified in the North Atlantic Connectivity Collaborative and assess road-stream crossings with a standardized methodology. We take precise channel width measurements to size culverts correctly to meet Department of Environmental Conservation and Army Corps of Engineers specifications and allow for aquatic passage.

Sediment and Erosion Control

The District aids landowners and municipalities with addressing stormwater, sediment, and erosion challenges. Assistance is also offered with shoreline and streambank stabilization. Some best management practices include:

  • Bioengineering, Natural Channel Design, and Green Infrastructure.
  • Green Armor – erosion control products include turf reinforcement mats, biotic soil amendments, and hydraulically-applied mulch that quickly stabilize the soil.
  • Hard Armor - a traditional erosion prevention method that protects surfaces against strong water velocity and wave action and provides bank stabilization and protection along rivers, streams, and roads. Examples include rock riprap, gabions, precast block retaining walls, and rock chutes.
  • Diversions - stormwater runoff is redirected from an area prone to flooding and erosion to a more stable, safe location.
  • Vegetation - the deep roots of vegetation effectively hold soil in place and prevent erosion.

Permit Assistance

Staff are available to assist landowners and municipalities with Department of Environmental Conservation, Army Corps of Engineers, and Adirondack Park Agency permits.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you obtain permits for:

  • Mined Land Reclamation
  • Culverts
  • Stream Work
  • Ponds
  • Dredging
  • Shoreline Stabilization
  • And More!
Design Element
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

Mapping & GIS

Geographic Information System (GIS) and mapping services are provided to landowners, businesses, and municipalities. Services include:

  • GIS Mapping
  • Data Querying
  • Project Development
  • One-on-One Assistance

Visit the Hamilton County Online Mapping System, a free, web-based GIS tool. Search for tax parcels, create topographic or aerial maps, or identify roads, state hiking trails, wetlands, rivers, or soil types.

Dry Hydrants

The District designs and installs dry hydrants at the request of any fire district or municipality. Dry hydrants offer easy access to water from a roadway, shorten the distance of water transportation, and distribute water in a short amount of time. They protect public health and safety.

Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District


Hydroseeding is available to residents and 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

Hamilton County 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 Hamilton County municipalities, residents, and businesses with certified results.

Test Kits

Test kits are available for the following analytes:

  • Kit 1

    • Unchlorinated Water Bacteriological – Total Coliform / E. Coli Qualitative (Presence/Absence): $30.00
    • Unchlorinated Water Bacteriological – Total Coliform / E. Coli Quantitative (Enumerated): $45.00

  • Kit 2

    • Chlorinated Water Bacteriological – Total Coliform / E. Coli Qualitative (Presence/Absence): $30.00
    • Chlorinated Water Bacteriological – Total Coliform / E. Coli Quantitative (Enumerated): $45.00

  • Kit 3

    • Lead and Copper: $45.00

  • Kit 4

    • Water Quality Panel (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.

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:

  • Check back for 2024 dates!

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

Design Element

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 our 2024 sale!

Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

The Soil and Water Conservation District is collecting information on septic systems throughout the county. Your information will not be shared with anyone else.

Click here to take the survey! 

Septic Systems

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 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. The cost for the tank pump-out is determined by the private contractor.

The District sells septic system dye kits for $5 that include tablets and instructions.

Design Element

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.

Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

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.

The AEM Five-Tiered Approach

AEM uses a five-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.

  • 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.

For more information or to enroll, contact us.

Watershed Health District staff provide consultation to landowners and municipalities to protect watershed health. Services include: o Stormwater pollution prevention o Green infrastructure o Shoreline buffers with recommendations for native plantings o Sediment and erosion control o Streambank and shoreline stabilization