It's been in the news for years elevated concentrations of nitrate found in drinking water in some areas of the lower Yakima Valley. The State Department of ecology has been working with residents and the county to find out what's causing the increased nitrate and to find a solution. The work continues Today. Now officials are hoping to gain more information about the condition of aquifers that provide the drinking water for some 56,000 people who live in the lower Yakima Valley. In an effort to find the answer ecology officials are offering free sampling to those with private drinking water wells in the Lower Yakima Valley Groundwater Management Area during a long-term monitoring program. A press release from the Washington State Department of Ecology says beginning on May 17 ecology officials will be in the field reaching out to residents to encourage them to participate in the study. They hope to have 170 wells in our monitoring network by the time they start sampling in July.

“This will help you protect yourself and your family from potentially harmful chemicals while helping our scientists research ways to prevent contamination,” says Melanie Redding, a hydrogeologist with Ecology’s Environmental Assessment Program.

Throughout the study we will send participants test results and explain what they mean. If testing shows there are potentially harmful chemicals in well water, we may advise people to rely on other sources of drinking water. Information on the study can be found on our website.

To participate, please contact Melanie Redding, who will work directly with homeowners and residents to arrange for testing. Call 360-407-6524 or email melanie.redding@ecy.wa.gov to sign up.

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