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Free well testing offered

FORUM

As the chairman of the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee (GWAC), I want to let your readers know about an important opportunity to have their wells tested for free as a part of our effort to assist citizens and learn more about the health of the drinking water in the Lower Yakima Valley.

The committee, which includes residents and interested groups from the Lower Yakima Valley, has been making progress to find solutions related to nitrate and bacterial contamination found in some of the drinking water wells in the Lower Yakima Valley.

Not all water supplies in the area have been impacted. Public water systems in the area maintain safe and reliable drinking water supplies. However, many of the homes in the Lower Yakima Valley are served by private or shared wells, and there is enough data to suggest that many of these wells are at risk from surface contaminants.

I want to encourage all residents to participate in the sampling program. It will only take about 30 minutes. The information gathered in the Lower Yakima Valley for the committee will only be used to evaluate the typical water quality in the groundwater.

The survey will help us understand the conditions that exist around the wells and how to best help the residents. It is not our intention to collect personal data for any other use or purpose.

Residents who participate will receive copies of their sample results. This is so they can make an informed decision about their drinking water and their family’s health.

Affected residents will be receiving a letter in the mail.

To learn more about the program and to set up an appointment to participate, please call the Yakima Health District Help Desk at 509-249-6508. Appointments can be scheduled right now with results expected in March.

To learn more about the GWAC, please visit: http://www.yakimacounty.us/gwma/.

/s/ J. Rand Elliott, Yakima County Commissioner, Chairman, Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area Advisory Committee

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