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Geologists begin testing water in private Cache Valley wells

State scientists have begun testing private water wells in Cache Valley to evaluate the aquifer for chemicals and other elements.

The tests are being conducted by geologists with the Utah Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Utah Division of Water Quality. The Cache Valley Water Project coordinator requested the study, which will focus on residential, agricultural and industrial wells that tap into the valley's unconsolidated valley-fill aquifer.The wells were selected on the basis of geographic location and depth. No particular well was singled out for testing, and no land-use considerations were involved in picking the test wells.

The survey will continue until mid-November. Results should be available soon after the first of the year.

"Owners of the wells will not be charged for the testing and can receive a free copy of the test results upon request," said Mike Lowe, manager of the UGS's Environmental Program.

"The testing process involves little more than taking a sample from an outside water source on the well owner's property. We are asking for the public's cooperation in this survey so that we get good information on the aquifer."

The evaluation will classify the aquifer on the basis of chemical constituents, including nutrients such as nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and phosphorus, as well as dissolved metals, organics, pesticides and radio nuclides.