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DEQ: Contaminants found in wells on Oregon's north coast

A survey found nitrates, pesticides, metals and bacteria in groundwater wells in Clatsop and Tillamook counties.
Credit: DEQ
Dept. of Environmental Quality

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A survey of groundwater wells by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality along the north coast has found nearly 40 contaminants in residential and irrigation wells.

The Statesman Journal reports Friday that contaminants identified in Clatsop and Tillamook counties include nitrates, pesticides, metals and bacteria.

Many were within federal guidelines but some were not.

DEQ tested 69 residential and irrigation wells in those counties, including wells serving a fish hatchery and a public soccer field.

The study is part of a new effort to compile groundwater aquifer data statewide.

Paige Evans, coordinator of the project, says well owners have been notified and provided information about how to fix the problems.

About 600,000 Oregonians rely on private wells for drinking water. Public water systems, agriculture and industry also rely on groundwater.