Benton Conservation District Gets Grant to Map Groundwater Throu - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton Conservation District Gets Grant to Map Groundwater Throughout Benton County

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BENTON COUNTY, WA- The Benton Conservation District was awarded a two-year $250,000 grant to map groundwater throughout the Benton County to check nitrate levels. 

The testing process is not easy, Erin Hightower is an Agricultural Resource Technician for the Benton Conservation District and checks measures the nitrate levels. Ten parts per million is the federal standard for nitrate in safe drinking water. She samples water from existing wells. The grant has allowed the Conservation District to do more testing and create a more descriptive map for the next two years, "two years, four samples, so we will sample right now in the fall we'll sample again in the spring around March or April and we'll do it all over again the next fall and spring from the same locations, the same points and what we're hoping to do is get an idea if it fluctuates through a year and if it fluctuates year to year" Hightower told us. 

The tests are free to participants and are analyzed by the Benton Franklin Health District. The Conservation District has already sent letters to some local landowners to test their private wells. For all landowners with a private well on their property, they recommend testing for nitrates and bacteria at least every three years.

If you are interested in free well-testing, contact Erin Hightower at the Benton Conservation District at 509-736-6000.