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Free well testing offered to wildfire victims

By February 28, 2021Beet 2021 03 March

The Oregon Health Authority will provide free well water testing vouchers to private or domestic well users impacted by the 2020 Oregon wildfires. Applications will be open until May 15, 2021.

Vouchers cover the cost of testing for bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, and lead. Depending on well damage, some may also qualify to test for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene as well. Sample collection costs are not covered by OHA.

To be eligible for the vouchers, all of the following criteria must be met: the property was impacted by the wildfires; the well water is used for things like drinking, bathing cooking and washing dishes; the well has three or fewer connections and is not part of a regulated water system.

Because domestic wells are unregulated, water quality testing is not always accessible to these households. After a fire, testing the well for contaminants is an important step to assuring homes have access to safe water. If a test results indicates high levels of contaminants, OHA will provide safety information and recommendations to the well user. OHA does not regulate private wells.