RURAL WELL WATER OWNER INFORMATION

If you have a WELL that supplies your home water supply (NOT serviced by City Water) you should
consider having your well water tested. You may contact Morrow County for information on where and
how to obtain samples and get testing. Additionally, there are several links and resources listed below
which will provide more information on well water safety.
If you have any questions, you can call Ana Piñeyro, Morrow County Health Department, at 541-256-
0514.
Other resources:
READ THE WELL TOOL KIT – THE WEB SITE IS:
https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le8316.pdf
OSU Well Safety Website
https://ehsc.oregonstate.edu/well-safety
Attachments:
Nitrate in Well Water Fact Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 6/15/22
Morrow County
Nitrate in Well Water – Frequently Asked Questions
• Do I need to test my water?
In some parts of northern Morrow County, wells tested high for levels of nitrate, a
potentially harmful chemical. If you rely on a domestic well for drinking water,
you should regularly test your well for nitrate and other pollutants. The Oregon
Health Authority (OHA) has recommendations for well testing at
www.healthoregon.org/wells.
If you rely on a public water system (such as a city or water district) for drinking
water, you do not need to test your water. OHA regulates public water systems
and they regularly test the water to ensure safety.
• Is city water safe?
Yes, city water is safe. If you get your water from a public drinking water system
like a city or water district (Boardman, Irrigon, Heppner, etc.), you do not have to
test your water. Public water systems are required to regularly test the quality of
their water. No public water systems in Morrow County have tested high for
nitrate contamination.
• Why do I need to get my well tested?
Nitrate in your well water is a potential health hazard. Nitrate in drinking water
can cause a variety of long- and short-term effects. Infants and women who are or
may become pregnant are more at risk.
• How do I test my water?
Contact an accredited lab for instructions on how to collect, store and send the
sample. To find a lab, go to www.healthoregon.org/wells. The test costs from $20
to $40.
• What do the nitrate test results mean?
Test results with nitrate levels at or below 10 mg/L mean the water is safe for all
uses, including drinking.
Last updated: 6/15/22
Test results with nitrate levels from 11 mg/L to 100 mg/L mean the water is not
safe to drink for babies or women who are or may become pregnant. It is safe in
the short-term for healthy adults to drink for up to a year. Exposure longer than a
year may pose a risk.
Test results with nitrate levels above 100 mg/L mean the water is not safe to drink
or to use to cook. It is safe for other uses, such as bathing, washing dishes, doing
laundry or watering your garden.
• What should I do if I have a high nitrate test result?
If your water has nitrate levels above 10 mg/L, you should:
o Switch to another source of safe drinking water such as bottled water.
o Seek water treatment options. Certain water filter systems, such as reverse
osmosis or distillation units used to treat water at a single tap or
throughout the house will remove nitrate from drinking water. Activated
carbon filters such as in a water pitcher with a filter cannot remove nitrate.
o Do not boil water! Boiling does not remove nitrate.
o Supervise children to help them avoid swallowing water while bathing or
brushing their teeth.
o Report your test results to Morrow County Public Health by calling 541-481-
4200 or emailing apineyro@co.morrow.or.us
• Where can I sign up for alerts or updates from the county?
Subscribe to Morrow County Alerts by creating an account at
https://member.everbridge.net/835495693123586/login. Under the option to
choose subscriptions, check the box for “Nitrate Contamination Alerts and Info.”
If you already subscribe to Morrow County Alerts, please update your profile with
your latest contact info. Also, update your subscription preferences to include
“Nitrate Contamination Alerts and Info.”
You can also subscribe by texting the word “Nitrate” to 888777.
N
This document can be provided upon request in an alternate format for individuals
with disabilities or in a language other than English for people with limited English
skills. To request this publication in another format or language, contact the
Domestic Well Safety Program at 971-673-0977 or 711 for TTY. PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION
Environmental Public Health
Nitrate in well water: What you should know
Nitrate is a naturally occurring form of nitrogen that has no color, smell or
taste. It is an essential component of living things. Although nitrate can
occur naturally in groundwater, high levels are often associated with human
activities. Nitrate is a major part of animal manure, human sewage waste and
commercial fertilizers. Nitrate in your well water is a potential health hazard.
Nitrate and your health
Presence of nitrates in drinking water can cause a variety of long- and shortterm effects. Infants are at a particularly strong risk for blue baby syndrome,
with some cases resulting in death.
Nitrate and your well water
The only way to know if you have nitrate in your well water is to test. Contact
an accredited laboratory for specific instructions on how to collect, store and
send the sample. The test will cost between $20–$40. To find accredited
labs in Oregon, visit www.healthoregon.org/wells.
Nitrate is measured in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/L)
(1 mg/L = 1 ppm). Nitrate occurs naturally in surface and groundwater at
concentrations up to 1–2 mg/L and is not harmful at these levels. The safe
drinking water standard (also called maximum contaminant level or MCL) for
nitrate is 10 mg/L. If your water has nitrate levels above 10 mg/L, you should
switch to bottled water or another source of safe drinking water and seek
treatment options.
You should test
for nitrate at least
once a year.
For more information:
• Private well owners with
health-related questions
about nitrate in their water,
well maintenance and
testing recommendations,
call 971-673-0977 or email
domestic.wells@state.or.us.
• For questions about
treatment options for your
domestic well, contact the
drinking water specialist
at your local health
department (http://tinyurl.
com/DWcontacts).
Interpreting your nitrate results
Nitrate results Water use Recommendation
10 ppm (mg/L)
or less
SAFE for all uses.
Concentrations above 4 ppm may indicate
contamination.
Test water at least once a year.
Between 11 and
100 ppm (mg/L)
NOT SAFE to drink for babies or women who are or
may become pregnant.
SAFE to drink short term of up to a year* by healthy
adults (except pregnant women), pets and livestock.
SAFE for other domestic uses, including bathing,
washing dishes, laundry or garden irrigation.
Use bottled water or water from a safe
source. Do not boil the water.
Supervise children to help them avoid
swallowing water while bathing, brushing
teeth, etc.
Contact your local drinking water specialist
for treatment advice.
More than
100 ppm (mg/L)
NOT SAFE for drinking.
SAFE for other domestic uses, including bathing,
washing dishes, laundry or garden irrigation.
Contact your local drinking water specialist
for treatment advice.
*Drinking long term (for more than one year) poses risk for all. Infants and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant
should not use for drinking. OHA 8342 (3/2022)


Movies on the Plaza

Movies on the Plaza
The City of Irrigon will be holding a family time for big and small kids alike. Please join us
on the following Tuesday evenings following the weekly Farmers Market.
TIME: 9:30pm (dark) – End of Movie
The following movies and dates are scheduled.
June 28th – Finding Ohana
July 5th – Luka
July 12th – Turtles Tales
July 19th – Encanto
July 26th – Inside Out
August 2nd – Wizard of Oz
August 9th – Sing
August 16th – Goonies
August 23rd – We Bought a Zoo
August 30th – Princess Bride