Pennsylvania Farm-A-Syst: Getting Started: Farmstead Map

A farmstead map can record important features that influence water quality and make it easier to evaluate potential sources of pollution.
Pennsylvania Farm-A-Syst: Getting Started: Farmstead Map - Articles


A map can be a record of important features on the farmstead that can impact water quality. Drawing a farmstead map will make it easier to evaluate potential sources of pollution and to locate wells, septic tanks and absorption fields in the future when they need maintenance.

Why Make a Map?

While each property has physical features that cannot be changed, there are many practices that can minimize risks.

A farmstead map can indicate areas where efforts for improvement should be focused for the best return. Some of the Pennsylvania Farm-A-Syst worksheets will refer to locations and distances between various farmstead items and potential locations where farmstead practices or conditions can affect groundwater or surface water. A farmstead map can be a handy reference when completing these worksheets. The following farmstead map shows common features and can be used as a sample for an actual map.

Sample Map

Making a Map

Step 1

Begin by looking at the format of the sample map.

Step 2

Download the blank map grid and sketch the farmstead layout. If the farmstead is large, try making two maps, one showing details around the home, and the other showing the remaining farmstead. Include all of the following that apply to the farmstead.

  • property and field boundaries
  • all buildings and other structures (home, barns, machine shed)
  • active wells and unused wells
  • septic system, drainfield
  • nearest surface water (streams, ponds, drainageways)
  • direction of surface water flow
  • livestock barnyards and exercise areas
  • manure storage (temporary and permanent)
  • pesticide and fertilizer storage and handling areas
  • milkhouse waste disposal system

Step 3

Save this map and refer to it when completing the worksheets and when developing plans for changes after completing the worksheets.

Information derived from Pennsylvania Farm-A-Syst worksheets is intended only to provide general information and recommendations to farmers regarding their own farmstead practices. It is not the intent of this educational program to keep records of individual results. However, they may be shared with others who will help you develop a resource management plan.