Foster Creek Conservation District
Foster Creek Conservation District

What’s in Your Well?

Map of Douglas County wells with low nitrates represented by green and blue dots. Explore this map at

Well water is important because there are few, year-round surface water sources for drinking and irrigation in Douglas County. However, these wells are at risk for contamination by nitrate that can soak deep into the ground to the aquifers. Contaminants come from crop fertilizers, yard care, and animal or human waste. Nitrates are harmful for humans and livestock as it reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women and infants. It also creates toxic algae blooms, which can kill fish in waterways.  Just use ACT to protect yourself from nitrate well contamination:

  • Avoid loss: Test your soil before fertilizing to add the right amount and type, at the right time and place. Irrigate so that your crops or lawn receive only what is needed at the right time and rate.


  • Control runoff: Keep the nitrogen you add in place and safe from washing away with yard mulching, reduced till farming, and by planting vegetative barriers around fields. Manage animal and chemical waste by treating it, recycling, or safe storage.  


  • Trap pathways: Plant vegetation in the route nitrogen and sediment could escape your property or fields. Conservation cover, field borders, and grassed waterways could block nutrients from moving into streams, groundwater, and wells.


Explore the nitrate concentrations in local wells via the Dept. of Ecology's Nitrate Project map online here


Learn more about protecting yourself and your groundwater from nitrates!
Nitrate Groundwater Brochure.pdf
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Foster Creek Conservation District 203 S Rainier Waterville, WA 98858 509-888-6372 © Foster Creek CD