YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- The supplemental state budget approved by the Legislature includes $500,000 to help lower Yakima Valley residents who have contaminated drinking water wells.

An estimated 20 percent of wells in the heavily agricultural area have elevated levels of nitrates and bacteria. Some 30,000 private wells exist there.

The budget includes $400,000 to treat water from contaminated wells and $100,000 to develop a local plan to improve water quality and reduce nitrate contamination. The money comes from the state toxics control account, funded by taxes on petroleum products, pesticides and chemicals.

The Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper uncovered the contamination problems and regulatory inaction in a series of stories in October 2008.


Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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