Rural San Luis Obispo County residents who rely on private wells as their primary source of drinking water may be unknowingly ingesting contaminants such as arsenic or nitrates, both of which can be bad for health.
Now, free testing is available through a pilot project for residents of areas where data show there may be high levels of arsenic or the water quality is unknown.
Residents in Paso Robles, Santa Margarita, California Valley, Arroyo Grande and the Huasna Road/Lopez Drive area are the first to be eligible for the program. Rural well-water drinkers in other parts of the county can apply and may receive testing if the program receives more money.
The project will collect and test water samples at no cost to the well user. Generally, water sample testing can run about $250. Results will be available in two to three weeks and will be added to a state database. The project also offers information on how to protect wells and what to do if a well is contaminated. It is coordinated by CivicSpark with San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board.
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