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Well User Resource Toolkit

Toolkit contents

Well water contaminants

Oregon contaminant map

Data visualization: Learn about the most commonly found contaminants in Oregon groundwater and where these contaminants are found around the state.

Print materials

  • Nitrate /  Nitrato (Spanish)
    Fact sheet: Basic information on Nitrate in well water, health impacts and interpreting results.
  • Lead / Plomo (Spanish)
    FAQ sheet: Drinking Water Services provides information on Lead in drinking water.
  • Sulfur / Sulfuro (Spanish)
    Fact Sheet: Basic information about Sulfur in well water, impacts on the home, finding the sources and treatment

Online resources

  • Unregulated contaminants
    Webpage: Drinking Water Services provides information on potentially concerning contaminants that are currently unregulated.

Helpful contacts

  • Domestic Well Safety Program
    Contact us: Ask questions about the Real Estate Transaction Law, reported test results, data, print materials and more!

Owning a well

  • Well checklist 
    Checklist: Oregon State University Extension Office checklist for well owners
  • Well Water Safety 
    Free online learning: Tips, resources and a video series on well water safety from Oregon State University
  • The Private Well Class
    Free online learning: Helps homeowners understand and care for their water well provided by the University of Illinois, through a grant from the EPA.
  • Well Owner Lessons
    Free online learning: A series of online lessons and webinars from the National Groundwater Association's on how to keep your drinking water supply safe.
  • Water Well Abandonment, Repair, and Replacement Fund
    Well repair resources: The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is currently accepting applications from low-to-moderate income households with domestic wells that are impacted by drought or wildfire. The Water Well Abandonment, Repair, and Replacement Fund provides financial assistance to permanently abandon, repair or replace a water well used for household purposes. Applications will be accepted year-round, depending on availability of funds.


  • Prevent contamination
    Webpage: Tips from The National Groundwater Association on how to prevent contamination.



Treatment options based on well water test results:

Wells in an emergency



Dry well



Newsletters and networks

  • Well Owner Tip Sheet: Monthly newsletter from the National Groundwater Association about tools that can help private well owners reduce risks to their water supplies. Sign up at
  • Pipeline: A National Drinking Water Clearing House Newsletter with quarterly editions on wastewater topics.
  • The Aquifer: Quarterly newsletter from the Groundwater Foundation.
  • Groundwater Guardian: A Groundwater Foundation newsletter that provides support and encouragement for communities of all types (cities, counties, watersheds, schools, etc.) to begin groundwater awareness activities, motivation to continue these efforts, and recognition for their achievements.
  • WellCare Well Owners Network: E-mail mailing list maintained by the Water Systems Council.
  • WellSaid: A production of the Oregon Water Resources Department designed to inform the drilling industry and the public about program activities and other items of interest. 


Location-Specific Contaminants

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

The greatest risk of well water contamination with this chemical is being located near a site that routinely uses firefighter foam. If you live near a military base, fire station, airport, or another site that uses firefighter foam, you might consider having your water tested for PFAS. More information below.

  • Accredited Laboratories
    Contact list: As of today, no major source of PFAS has been found in Oregon that would create regular exposure for Oregonians. For this reason, Oregon Laboratories are not accredited to test for this contaminant. This list provided by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation outlines out-of-state options. Please contact the laboratory directly for more information.
  • Addressing PFAS in Oregon
    Webpage: Department of Environmental Quality webpage provides information on work being done in Oregon to understand and address PFAS risk in Oregon.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    Webpage: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provides health information on PFAS exposure and your health.

Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

The greatest risk of well water being contaminated with one of these solvent chemicals is living near a current or past site of a dry cleaner or auto mechanic shop. More information on these chemicals below.

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
    Webpage: Information webpage provided by ATSDR on how to protect yourself from the harmful effects of TCE.
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
    Factsheet: Information provided by the Oregon Health Authority on how to protect yourself from the harmful effects of PCE.


BTEX is the common acronym for a group of chemicals that include Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene. The greatest risk of well water being contaminated with one of these chemicals is living near a current or past site of a gas station. More information on these chemicals below.

  • Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene
    Factsheets: These factsheets, developed by the Oregon Drinking Water Services Program, offer an overview of these contaminants including risk factors, health effects, and treatment options