Proposed bill will aid in well water testing

KTVL/Autumn Robertson

Nitrates are common in farming areas and some rural areas of Jackson and Josephine County have higher levels of that contaminate in their well drinking water. Ingesting nitrates can lead to serious issues in pregnant mothers and infants. Some residents are completely unaware of the impurities in their wells.

Kim Ramsay, Vice President of Neilson Research, says that if the homeowner's water is not supplied by public sources, it is the homeowner's responsibility to check for contaminates.

Landlords that do not test their tenants water or do not supply tenants with information on the results leave residents and children at risk. The proposed House Bill 2404 requires the Oregon Health Authority to create a fund which will essentially require landlords to test ground water. The fund will also require the OHA to provide public ground water education in contaminated areas.

Neilson Research tests wells for these substances throughout the region. Ramsay explains that much of this contamination is an easy fix.

"If there are nitrates in the water, you can use ion exchange or reverse osmosis," Ramsay says. "So we'd like to see those landlords put that kind of treatment on so that their tenants are drinking safe drinking water"

HB 2404 is currently in committee. A public hearing for the bill will take place soon.

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