Well samples to be taken near new Sequim retail developments

SEQUIM — Wishing wells will stay clean won’t be enough for Clallam County health officials who fear such wishes won’t come true.

They’ll sample water soon from wells in unincorporated areas near Sequim’s big-box stores to set a baseline for hydrocarbons and other pollutants.

It’s not that they expect the new Wal-Mart and The Home Depot developments alone to foul the area’s ground water.

They do want baseline data, however, to measure how growth of all sorts in the area might taint the water that lies 40 to 80 feet below the ground.

County commissioners have authorized the Health and Human Services Department to sample four wells this spring — one upland from the retail area, three below it.

The sampling should be completed by June. Sampling and testing should cost around $5,000, including time spent by HHS employees.

Sequim First member

Sampling first was suggested nearly a year ago by Bob Lynette, a county Planning Commission member and treasurer of Sequim First, a citizens group that challenged the Wal-Mart and Sequim Village Marketplace projects.

“I’d propose choosing a dozen well sites north and northeast of the (project) site, and checking the water quality now so we have a baseline,” Lynette said.

“Then we’d have a monitoring program over the next five years so we can find out if we are getting pollutants into the aquifers.”

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