EPA Working From Grandview Dumpsite Outward to Determine Scope of - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

EPA Working From Grandview Dumpsite Outward to Determine Scope of Contamination

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GRANDVIEW, Wash-- So far the only confirmed contamination has been on the Grandview dump site, in several seven to eight feet deep pits. The Environmental Protection Agency will now be testing nearby wells and water sources to figure out the scope of contamination.

"I do have a well and it's just right by the side of the house here, it's about 60 ft deep," said Roger Davis, homeowner.

Davis is one of several homeowners who can see the Grandview dumpsite from his yard. Soon the EPA will be testing water outside of the dump site, to determine how far the contamination has spread or if it's even spread at all.

Several streams and canals flow downhill from the Grandview dumpsite. This has neighbors concerned, could their well water be contaminated?

Now that the EPA has identified the chemicals at the site they know what to test for. A pesticide, herbicide and insecticide were all indentified at elevated levels. There are a lot of factors involved in determining contamination. 

The Department of Ecology certifies companies that build or dig wells, but this area of expertise has only been regulated for the last couple of decades.

"One of the things about the Lower Valley is there are a lot of wells that are old and they've been there for a long time and they are maybe shallow wells," said Joye Redfield-Wilder, Department of Ecology.

Older, shallow wells are more susceptible to contamination. Not just from illegal dumping, but also safe farming practices. It's recommended well owners routinely test their wells.

The EPA is working with surrounding homeowners. They will be testing water closest to the site first, then working outward, ruling out contamination as they go.