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Report raises groundwater quality concerns in the Magic Valley

According to the ICL report, the highest levels of nitrate levels were found in Twin Falls, Cassia and Minidoka counties
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 10:54 AM MDT
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MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A new report from the Idaho Conservation League revealed groundwater quality concerns in the Magic Valley. According to the ICL, this is the third straight year elevated concentrations of phosphorus and nitrates have been found in the Magic Valley.

Elevated levels of nitrates in particular are concerning with regards to human health. When higher levels of nitrates are injected via drinking water over time, it can lead to a higher risk of certain types of cancer including colorectal cancer. Elevated nitrate levels are especially dangerous for infants and pregnant women.

According to the ICL report, the highest levels of nitrate were found in Twin Falls, Cassia and Minidoka counties.

The ICL said it is important for Magic Valley residents who have a private well to have their water tested.

“First and foremost, we recommend getting your water tested and see what the nitrates levels are,” said ICL Central Idaho Conservation Associate Josh Johnson. “If they are elevated, there are certain ways to help treat the water so that you don’t have any of those harmful effects.”

The ICL added while people can deal with this situation on an individual level and make sure their water is safe to drink, larger policy changes will need to be implemented across Southern Idaho in order to truly resolve this issue on a broader scale.

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