High levels of Nitrate - more information

Please read this notification first: http://tooleywater.org/sites/default/files/TooleyReports/20201021%20Tool...

Background and other information on the subject.

Every year Tooley Water District performs annual tests for nitrate levels. Our past tests are available in our CCR's which are available under the "reports" section of our website, or directly via this link: http://www.tooleywater.org/reports?field_report_type_value%5B%5D=CCR

This year, our nitrate levels jumped up to 18.6 for our lower well. The testing lab notified Oregon Health Authority who in turn notified Tooley Water District that we had an issue. Upon being notified by the Oregon Health Authority we worked with our contract water maintenance provider (Hiland Water) and determined the best option available was to turn off the pumps at our lower well. The upper well tested at below 4 milligrams per liter, well below the MCL of 10 milligrams per liter.

Currently we are operating on our single well.

Moving forward we are still evaluating our options. We are unsure how long we can operate on a single well. There are concerns that winter freezing temperatures could create new issues under our current configuration.

We are seeking pricing for a nitrate removal system.

Additionally, we are attempting to understand the reason for the increased levels.
According to the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/nitrate.....

Nitrate can occur naturally in surface and groundwater at a level that does not generally cause health problems. High levels of nitrate in well water often result from improper well construction, well location, overuse of chemical fertilizers, or improper disposal of human and animal waste. Sources of nitrate that can enter your well include fertilizers, septic systems, animal feedlots, industrial waste, and food processing waste. Wells may be more vulnerable to such contamination after flooding, particularly if the wells are shallow, have been dug or bored, or have been submerged by floodwater for long periods of time.

As there are farming activities as well as potential septic systems near the lower well we are wondering if these could be related.

Additional information with regards to Nitrates in water systems is available from the Oregon DEQ: