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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, May 8, 2006
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Environmental Educator (306) 754-4111, ext. 7623, venninj@co.thurston.wa.us

Upcoming Workshop Focuses on Keeping Resident Well Water Safe

OLYMPIA – The Thurston County Department of Public Health and Social Services is conducting a free workshop called "Keeping Your Well, Well" on May 17 to help county well owners keep their drinking water safe.

The workshops are designed to help residents:

  • Identify potential pollution sources in and around their well.
  • Eliminate potential pathways for contaminates to enter their drinking water.
  • Learn how to test their well for contaminants.

Workshop participants will receive free packets of information to take home including a personalized well maintenance worksheet.

One of the most common well contaminants in Thurston County is nitrates, which can come from septic systems, surface animal waste and fertilizers. Nitrates are particularly harmful to pregnant women, infants and people with compromised immune systems. The chemicals interfere with the blood's ability to carry oxygen to vital body tissues and can cause blue baby syndrome or "methemoglobinemia". Severe cases of blue baby syndrome can result in brain damage or death.

Under federal and state law, community water systems are checked for contaminates, including nitrates, are a regular basis. People on individual wells, however, are responsible for assuring the safety of their own water supply.

Keeping Your Well, Well workshop:
Wednesday, May 17, 7 pm to 9 pm
Rochester Primary School , 7440 James Rd. SW

To register:  call (360) 754-4111, TDD (360) 754-2933; or e-mail venninj@co.thurston.wa.us.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3