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Scientists will test for nitrate, bacteria, chemicals as part of statewide groundwater quality study
Klamath Falls, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is offering free well water testing in the Klamath Basin as part of a groundwater quality study. Interested well users can contact DEQ at groundwater.monitoring@deq.state.or.us or 503-693-5736 to be considered for the study.

The announcement comes during National Groundwater Awareness Week, which celebrates the resource that provides drinking water to nearly half the U.S. population.

DEQ will test 60-100 Klamath Basin wells for nitrate, arsenic, bacteria, pesticides and other chemicals and send property owners individual results. Knowing if contaminants exist in well water can help residents make decisions to protect their health and their crops.

Possible sources of groundwater contamination include nearby failing septic systems, current or prior application of fertilizers and pesticides, and leaking underground fuel tanks.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining and monitoring private wells in Oregon—the state does not have water quality regulations for private wells. Well water testing is only required if the property is being sold.

DEQ will provide study participants with information on proper well maintenance, the health effects of common contaminants and options for water treatment.

DEQ will collect water samples in fall 2019 and spring 2020 and send reports to property owners within six months to a year after testing. Participants must have spigot access to their well before any filtration or treatment occurs.

Sample results will be publicly available, but landowner information will not be included in the public database.

Klamath Basin is the sixth geographic area DEQ has studied as part of its Statewide Groundwater Quality Monitoring Program, which evaluates the current condition of Oregon’s groundwater.

Find more information about participating in the study at http://bit.ly/DEQWaterStudy or call 503-693-5736.


Media contact: Laura Gleim, public affairs specialist, 541-633-2030, gleim.laura@deq.state.or.us


Photo captions:
1) DEQ water quality monitoring specialist Paige Evans samples groundwater from a domestic well in the North Coast Basin in fall 2015.
2) DEQ will sample groundwater quality in the Klamath Basin in fall 2019 as part of a statewide groundwater quality study.

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