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Yakima County's Nitrate
Treatment Pilot Program

Providing water treatment systems, education and technical assistance to households with individuals at high public health risk from nitrate contaminated wells.

Program FAQ's

<< FAQ's Table of Contents

Why are you offering this program?

The funding is made possible by the State Legislature and Sen. Jim Honeyford in response to high nitrate levels that have been found in private wells in the Lower Yakima Basin. This program will address immediate high nitrate concern by including education related to nitrate contamination, financial assistance in obtaining effective in-home point-of-use water treatment, and other types of technical assistance associated with the operation and maintenance of in-home treatment devices. The program is administered through the Washington State Department of Health.  There is a second program administered by the State Department of Ecology to address groundwater contamination.

How will you decide who gets these systems?

To be eligible to have a water treatment system installed at no cost, your water must have a nitrate level greater than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) drinking water standard of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l), and your home must have an individual at high public health risk from nitrate.  If the number of households eligible for financial assistance exceeds the funds available, then the following criteria will be used in the order presented to prioritize and select the households that will receive financial assistance.  Eligible households that do not receive financial assistance will be offered the option of purchasing a system at a reduced cost.

  1. Household income level.  All other things being equal, a higher priority will be given to low income households.
  2. Nitrate levels based on test results from a certified lab. All other things being equal, a higher priority will be given to those households having the highest nitrate levels.  Nitrate levels will be classed into groups for prioritization.  The lower the group number, the higher the priority.

Nitrate Level

    1. Group 1 = greater than 40 mg/l
    2. Group 2 = greater than 30 mg/l to 40 mg/l
    3. Group 3 = greater than 20 mg/l to 30 mg/l
    4. Group 4 = 10 mg/l to 20 mg/l

  1. First come, first served.   All other things being equal, a higher priority will be given to households based on the order in which requests for financial assistance are received by the Department.


How many systems are available through this program?

Approximately 300 will be available at no cost; after that, remaining applicants will be offered assistance at a reduced cost.

What is the deadline to apply?

Applications received by January 28, 2011 will receive first priority. Applications will be accepted until April 29, 2011.

If I'm eligible, when will I hear from you?

 We will respond within three weeks of receiving your application.

What costs does the program cover? What costs will I have to pay?

The program covers only the installation of a one-point treatment system.  Maintenance of the system is at the homeowner’s expense.