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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What if I can't find what I am looking for on this website?


A. You can contact us with questions by phone 574-936-2024 ext. 4 or email

Q. What is a "Soil and Water Conservation District" and why are you in the same office as the "Natural Resource Conservation Service"?

A.  You can find the answers to these questions on a few pages of our website, including:

Q. Where can I get a soil test for my garden/lawn?

A. You can purchase soil tests at many garden stores or have it performed by a soil testing lab.  For more information, check out our Backyard Conservation, Soil Testing and Soil Quality pages.

Q. Do you have maps available that I can look at?

A. Yes. We have various topographic maps, wetlands maps, and more that you may view.


The Farm Service Agency that is located next door has aerial photographs availabe, however, you must make an appointment with them to do so (574-936-2024 ext. 2)


Plat books of St. Joseph County can be purchased at the South Bend office of Farm Credit Services (574-291-1277 located at 5310 South Main Street, South Bend, IN‎)


Please contact our office with further questions. 

Q. How do I know if I have a wetland on my property?

A. You will need to have a determination or delineation.


If you are referring to land that is being farmed or has been in production, please refer to the NRCS's Wetland Conservation Provisions (Swampbuster) webpage that explains the rules for wetland conservation compliance, and contact our office with further questions (574-936-2024 ext. 4).


If you are not referring to land that is being farmed or has been in production, please contact one of the following agencies:


In Northern Indiana:

US Army Corps of Engineers

Detroit District Office

Regulatory Program

P.O. Box 1027

Detroit, MI 48231

(313) 226-2218 


In Central or Southern Indiana:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Louisville District Office

Regulatory Program

P.O. Box 59

Louisville, KY 40201

(502) 315-6733


Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Section 401 WQC/Isolated Wetlands Program

100 North Senate Avenue

MC 65-42 WQS IGCN NO45

Indianapolis, IN 46204

(800) 451-6027 or (317) 233-8488

Q. Where can I get a copy of the St. Joseph County Soil Survey?

A. Most of the hard copies of the St. Joseph County Soil Survey have been depleted. You can contact our office to inquire about how you can get copies of individual map sheets or for our assistance in looking at the copies available.   Please note that it may take several days for us to complete this task if there are other projects that are a priority due to deadlines.


There may also be copies available in the reference section of the county libraries.


You can also find the St. Joseph County soil information on the WEB SOIL SURVEY


If you need assistance with the Web Soil Survey site, please take a look at the Web Soil Survey Help Page

Q. Where can I get my water tested?

In St. Joseph County, Indiana options for testing your water include sending it to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), sending it to a commercial lab, or buying a home test kit. 

The following links should be helpful, but give us a call if you still have questions:  

Q. What type of assistance can I get through the St. Joseph County SWCD?


A. The St. Joseph County SWCD can provide you with various publications, some financial and technical assistance, educational resources and programs, and contact information for various governmental agencies, non-profits, etc.


See our Financial Incentives page for more information.

Q. What types of cost-share, financial assistance, and/or technical assistance programs are available for farmers?

A.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist (DC) or our SWCD County Conservationist would love to tell you about the various types of conservation programs available to you.


More information is are listed on our Agriculture page, our Financial Incentives pages, and you may also find more information at the NRCS Conservation Programs page.


Please contact Debbie Knepp (NRCS District Conservationist) or Sarah Longenecker (SWCD County Conservationist) at our office 574-936-2024 ext. 4 to set up an appointment. 

Q. Can your agency force my neighbor to correct an erosion problem on their land?

A. No. We are not a regulatory agency.


If the landowner requests our assistance, we can provide technical assistance in correcting an erosion problem.


If the landowner does not want to correct the problem, you may call the regulatory agency, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in Indianapolis at 800-451-6027 ext. 24464, or visit their Complaints Clearinghouse webpage .

Q. What types of classroom programs are available? Who may utilize them?

A. We have many classroom programs available. They are listed on our Education & Outreach page.


These programs are available (often at no charge) to school groups, scout groups, 4-H groups, church groups, home school groups and many other types of groups!


Just give us a call at 574-936-2024 ext 4, or e-mail our Education Coordinator Ally Pudlo.

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