"Thousands Of Eastern Oregonians Face Crisis Of Contaminated Well Water"

"Groundwater pollution in Umatilla and Morrow counties is growing worse, leading to dangerous levels of nitrates in water pumped up from what used to be safe wells."

"BOARDMAN, Ore. — Oregon's drought crisis tends to grab headlines as large parts of the state face increasingly meager water supplies. But there's a separate water problem impacting thousands of residents of northeastern Oregon, one where the issue isn't one of quantity, but quality.

Thousands of Oregonians in Umatilla and north Morrow counties rely on private wells for drinking water, tapping into a massive underground aquifer. But pollution has steadily contaminated that groundwater source in recent decades, turning what was once safe water into a potentially toxic supply.

KGW's The Story travelled to eastern Oregon this summer to speak with residents and learn more about the problem. A large share of those impacted are low-income people. Many do not speak English. They may not have political power, but they share a belief that the water has made them sick — even if they can't prove it."

Pat Dooris reports for KGW November 13, 2023.


Source: KGW, 11/15/2023