One of the most vital components of recovering one’s property in the aftermath of a wildfire is ensuring the safety of the drinking water. To help in this effort, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is providing free private well testing vouchers to property owners impacted by the 2020 Echo Mountain Complex fire.

Even if the fire did not directly damage an affected property owner’s well, or if the property owner has already repaired damage to a well, testing is an important step in ensuring the water is safe to drink. OHA vouchers will cover the cost of testing for arsenic, nitrate, bacteria, lead and, depending on damage assessment results, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes.

Here’s how it works:

1. Determine if you are eligible for the program.

2. The property was impacted by the 2020 Oregon wildfires.

3. The well water is used for things like drinking, bathing, cooking and washing dishes.

4. The well has three or fewer connections and is not part of a regulated water system.

5. Apply online at https://tinyurl.com/5b6bbeun

6. OHA will send you a voucher and instructions in the mail on how to collect a sample from your well.

7. Follow OHA’s guidance on how to assess your well and collect a water sample.

8. Submit the sample and voucher to a laboratory for testing; OHA will provide lab locations near you. The voucher will cover the cost of the lab test.

9. OHA will contact you with your test results and next steps, if needed.

More information, eligibility criteria and applications are available by going to the web link listed above. The application deadline is May 15, and vouchers are limited.

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