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Hidden wells, dirty water

An investigation by Leah Beth Ward of the Yakima Herald-Republic (Yakima, Wash.) reveals that evidence of area groundwater contamination has long been ignored. "A little noticed scientific study six years ago found that one in five of 195 wells tested outside five Lower Valley communities contained levels of nitrates above federal safety limits...Responsibility for keeping groundwater and drinking water clean is divided among at least five different state and federal agencies, which often have conflicting missions." Poor coordination efforts, a lack of funding and legal loopholes all contribute to the failed management of the issue. A map of area wells identifies the types of contaminants that have been found.

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