Safe Drinking Water
Where Do You Get Your Water?
More than 70% of Oregonians get some of their drinking water from wells, and 23% of Oregonians rely on privately owned wells as their primary source of water. Yet in many parts of the state, this water is polluted. Thousands of Oregonians may be unknowingly drinking water that could lead to cancer, miscarriage and other serious health risks.
The most common contaminants in well water are nitrate, bacteria, arsenic and pesticides. This contamination can come from failing septic tanks, fertilizers, livestock waste, and poorly constructed or maintained wells on a homeowner’s property or property nearby.
Well water contamination is common in many parts of our state, from coastal communities to the Willamette Valley, Rogue Valley, Central and Eastern Oregon. While water from public
systems is tested for safety, domestic well water may not be.
Oregonians need to know whether the water they are drinking is safe so they can act to protect their families. Our state needs to do a better job of monitoring groundwater quality and reducing sources of contamination.
HB 2404 the Safe Well Water Bill would:
- Ensure that more well owners test.
Offer support for local well testing education programs and financial assistance to help low-income property owners repair wells or install water treatment systems when necessary. Require certain landlords to test wells and share the test results with tenants.
- Identify groundwater quality hot spots
Analyze well test results to identify areas with groundwater contamination problems and make sure the community is informed.
- Reduce septic tank pollution
Increase inspections of old septic systems and provide funding to help low income homeowners repair or replace failing septic systems.
For more details, download our Safe Well Water Bill Fact Sheet 2017.
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