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:
*A proposed water system with 10 or more connections must be applied for as a Group A water system.
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 groudwater 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.