YAKIMA, WA - If you have a well on your property when was the last time you sampled the water?
The Department of Ecology just sampled water from several wells after a study raised concerns.
"We had the opportunity to sample 15 wells. We got this independent study that shows us that there might be some chemicals of concern in the wells, and they happen to be wells kinda up and down the Yakima River, in the Lower Yakima Valley," said Joye Redfield-Wilder Communications Manager, Department of Ecology.
Wilder says the study raised concerns of lead, arsenic, nitrate and dioxin chemicals in the water, dioxin being the most unusual.
Wilder says all these chemicals can cause problems over time.
"What the problem, is that when you drink it some of them might accumulate in your tissues and so it might not be like lead and arsenic, it's like an over time issue, so for children lead and arsenic and nitrates they're the most vulnerable," said Wilder.
Now that samples have been collected Wilder says it's time to start the testing.
"Our scientists will examine those results, you know for each individual, so it's going to take a little bit of time."
The ultimate goal is for people to have clean water and that is it why the Department of Ecology recommends people to do their own sampling as well.
"If you have a private well sample it twice a year, so we are going to be sampling in the fall and we'll be sampling again in the spring just to see, 'Hey is it seasonally driven?"
Wilder believes that by the end of the year they should have results and if there is anything alarming people will be contacted right away.
If you live in the Lower Yakima Valley area and would like to get some help sampling your well water you can reach out to the Department of Health.
10-21-19 ORIGINAL STORY:
YAKIMA, WA - Free well water sampling is set to begin early next month for people in the Lower Yakima Valley, where many rely on well water.
The Department of Ecology is following up on an independent study that recently found seven different private wells between Toppenish and Prosser may have high levels of chemicals. This could be a health risk.
Ecology will be teaming up with the Yakima County Health District to start the free sampling on November 4th.
For more information on the study, you can contact Ecology's Central Regional Office at (509) 575-2490.