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Santa Cruz County has launched a free water quality testing program that includes opportunities for Point of Use treatment and drinking water replacement for residents of Santa Cruz County who rely on household groundwater wells for their drinking water.

In Santa Cruz County, it is estimated that 21,000 residents consume water from unregulated household wells and smaller water systems that have never been fully tested for safety. Without knowing if their water is safe, these residents could face serious health risks.

This is especially concerning for those in south county, where high levels of nitrate, hexavalent chromium, and 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (1,2,3-TCP) have been found. High levels of nitrate in drinking water can have serious health effects, particularly for vulnerable populations such as pregnant people and young children.

This testing initiative, funded through the Central Coast Ambient Monitoring Program – Groundwater Assessment and Protection and a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board, aims to collect data essential for developing sustainable solutions for water supply in affected areas. All personal information gathered for testing purposes will be treated confidentially and will not be disclosed to immigration or law enforcement agencies.

Participants will receive their sampling results along with a comprehensive Guide for Private Domestic Well Owners, interpretation of results, actions to take if contamination is detected, and strategies to safeguard the well from further contamination.

Anyone whose well tests positive for contaminants will be provided with detailed information about their options and will be guided to free drinking water replacement programs if eligible.

“We encourage Santa Cruz County residents to get their household well tested through this free program to ensure that their water is safe to drink,” said Sierra Ryan, Water Resources Manager with Santa Cruz County Environmental Health. “If your well water does not meet drinking water standards, you may qualify for additional free alternate water sources, such as bottled water delivery, water storage tank filling, and Point of Use treatment systems.”

To schedule an appointment for free well testing, contact the Central Coast Drinking Water Testing Program at 844-613-5152 or visit centralcoastwelltesting.org.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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