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Sutherlin Valley Arsenic Study
well pump

In 2008, The Douglas County Health Department requested that EHAP evaluate potential health risks from arsenic-contaminated wells in the Sutherlin valley areas.

EHAP, in collaboration with the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, tested 127 wells in the Sutherlin, Oakland, and Yoncalla areas. Most of the wells that were tested had no detectable levels of arsenic.

However there were a few east of Sutherlin that had arsenic above the safe drinking water standard of 10 parts per billion (10 ppb). Of particular concern is a small number of private wells in the Nonpareil and Hinkle Creek areas, that showed levels above 200 ppb. Water with arsenic levels above 10 ppb should not be used for drinking, cooking, or washing food.

EHAP is strongly encouraging all well owners in the area to have their water tested for arsenic.

Arsenic is a naturally-occurring, toxic element found in natural deposits in bedrock and soil. Studies conducted in Douglas County in the 1960's and 70's showed that some wells in the Sutherlin area are contaminated by naturally-occurring arsenic. The public drinking water systems serving these communities contain no detectable levels of arsenic. Read the full report (pdf) or browse these frequently asked questions about arsenic (pdf).

Educational Materials

Learn more about arsenic, well safety, and how to get your well tested.

Reports

Public Participation

  • A public information session was held in August, 2008. This was an opportunity for well owners in the area to get information about this arsenic study, their individual test results, how to test their well water, and well safety in general.

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