New Hillside Well Water Quality Report

April 2011

Incumbent with the right to draw from and discharge into groundwater reserves is the responsibility to protect the quality of the groundwater.

A first step towards protecting our water is to understand what's out there now. The MOA collects information on water quality when homes are sold. The Alaska DEC collects water information from "public wells" on an annual basis. Those are wells that serve places like churches, schools and more than one home. There are some 42 public wells on the hillside. That information is available online but not in a form that is easy to interpret.

As one part of the Well Water Protection Program recommended in the Hillside District Plan, HALO will fund a report on the quality of the Hillside's well water using the data that has already been collected by the MOA and the State. The report will summarize the statistics to show trends on nitrate and arsenic levels in the water. Nitrates are a minor problem in most cases, but high levels can indicate a problem with a well. Arsenic has not been a problem with hillside wells but there is enough misinformation out there that it is deemed important to report the facts. The report will also provide a map showing the level of nitrates in the most recent test for each well on the Hillside.

If this report shows problem areas, then we can take a further step of looking for the cause of the problem. If the report shows trends that worry people, we can look for solutions.

The first report will be written by Jim Munter and Ted and Ian Moore. They bring expertise as a hydrologist, septic system engineer and mapping expert. We decided to maintain the credibility of the report by hiring them as consultants. Along with statistician Pat Hansen, they have been making significant contributions as part of HALO's HDP Implementation committee.

No one has a greater stake in protecting the quality of our well water than those of us who drink it. HALO recognizes the importance of this and has offered to guarantee funding for the project if donations fall short of the $5,000 needed for the initial report. We expect the report to be completed in August or November.

Our fundraising begins now. If everyone reading this newsletter would contribute $25 per household, the future of this program would be assured. Your donations can be sent to HALO, P.O. Box 110006, Anchorage, AK , 99511. Add a memo to your check "Water Well Quality Report Donation".

Submitted by John Weddleton who has sent in his contribution already. If you have any questions about the HDP Implementation Committee or would like to attend a future meeting, contact John at 317-0222.