Does your well water have high nitrate? If so, you may be eligible for a rebate of up to $500 for a drinking water treatment system.

As part of the voter-approved Measure B, the Safe, Clean Water and Natural Flood Protection Program, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is offering rebates for the purchase and installation of nitrate treatment systems, which are typically reverse osmosis units that often fit under the sink.

The goal of this program is to reduce private well owner exposure to elevated nitrate in drinking water. Portions of Santa Clara Valley have high levels of nitrate due to historic and ongoing sources like fertilizers, septic systems and livestock or poultry waste.  High nitrate levels can cause health problems, particularly for infants and pregnant women. Installation of a nitrate treatment system can reduce nitrate levels and help protect your health.

If you are a Santa Clara County private well owner interested in participating in the Nitrate Treatment System Rebate Program, you must first determine the level of nitrate in your well water. If you have certified laboratory results within the last two years showing nitrate above 45 milligrams per liter (mg/L) as nitrate (NO3) or above 10 mg/L as nitrogen (N), you are eligible for the program. If you do not know the nitrate level in your well water, you may be eligible for the water district’s free Domestic Well Testing Program.

The Domestic Well Testing Program offers free collection of water quality samples for many residences served by domestic wells. Sampling includes testing for nitrate, bacteria, hardness, electrical conductivity, fluoride and sulfate. During the sampling appointment, a sample of your drinking water is collected from your well, kitchen sink or an outside hose bib. After analyzing the samples, the water district will send you the results along with information on additional actions you may want to take.

Santa Clara County private well owners with high nitrate can purchase a state-certified nitrate treatment system and apply for a rebate from the water district. See the current list of rebate-eligible treatment systems by clicking on “Approved Nitrate Treatment Systems” at:  http://www.valleywater.org/NitrateRebate/. The maximum rebate amount is $500 or 100 percent of the purchase price of the nitrate treatment system, whichever is less.

All private wells within Santa Clara County are eligible to participate in the program, limited to one rebate per single family dwelling. The rebate application must be submitted within 90 days of purchase of the nitrate treatment system.

For more information, contact Jeannine Larabee at (408) 630-3201 or visit our website at www.valleywater.org and use the “Access Valley Water” customer request and information system.

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