Drinking Water & Wells
Northeast Tri County Health District (NETCHD) Environmental Health staff support the Washington State Department of Health's effort to approve and monitor community water systems. Responsibilities for public water systems are delegated from the Washington State Department of Health through a joint plan of responsibility (JPR).
NETCHD Environmental Health staff are responsible for the following activities:
- Provide support to the Washington State Department of Health in monitoring and inspecting community water supplies
- Provide technical assistance to owners and operators of public drinking water systems
- Evaluate proposed sites for new public drinking water wells
- Coordinate with planning departments during the platting process for new subdivisions proposing public water service
- Work with building departments to provide recommendations for water systems treatment and testing parameters for water system adequacy
- Investigate waterborne illness
- Respond to complaints and inquiries
- Provide owners of private water systems technical assistance about drinking water safety
Group A Public Water System is classified as:
- A water system with 15 or more connections or
- Serves greater than 25 or more people per day for 60 days per year
- Group A Public Water Systems are regulated by Washington State Department of Health
- NETCHD conducts Well Site Inspections for approval of new systems this requires the completion of a Well Site Application (PDF)
Group B Public Water System is classified as:
- A water system serving less than 15 service connections and
- Less than 25 people per day (such as a workplace) or
- 25 or more people per day for fewer than 60 days per year
- Group B Public Water Systems are regulated by NETCHD
Please note: A proposed water system with 10 or more connections must be applied for as a Group A water system.
Uranium in Drinking Water
Uranium is a naturally occurring mineral present in certain types of rocks and soils found throughout the United States, including Northeast Washington. This type of naturally occurring uranium metal is slightly radioactive and is not to be confused with other forms of uranium, such as enriched uranium which is highly radioactive.
Naturally occurring uranium has always been present in some of our area's drinking water. As groundwater passes through rocks and soil, uranium is dissolved and becomes present in the groundwater which may be used as a source of drinking water. The amount of uranium in bedrock and well water varies greatly from place to place.
Monitoring in Northeast Washington has shown elevated levels of uranium in private drinking water wells.