The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) wants volunteers in the Mid-Willamette Valley to help determine what is in their groundwater.
The DEQ is hoping to add 60 volunteers to the second half of its groundwater study this fall. Participating landowners will have their wells tested free for contaminates such as nitrate, arsenic, pesticides, E. coli, pharmaceuticals and others. Water quality monitoring manager Aaron Borisenko says they are trying to recruit community members who are often overlooked for these opportunities.
“We identified that there were Spanish speaking populations and Russian populations that may not readily be able to participate,” said Borisenko. “It’s a voluntary groundwater study and if they don’t know about it or hear about it through outreach efforts then they’re not going to have a chance to even express their willingness to participate in a study like this.”
The DEQ has made fliers in Spanish and Russian and is working with cities to better reach these groups. Participants in the study will be provided with reports on their groundwater’s contaminant levels as soon as available. It is up to each landowner whether or not to act on the results.