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Sunnyside lab now testing water for coliform

In the past, Sunnyside City Hall has served as a drop-off point for Lower Valley residents who wanted their drinking water tested for impurities. Weekly, city officials would send the water samples brought in to city hall to a lab in Union Gap.

That procedure is changing.

Because a Sunnyside agricultural laboratory is now certified to test for coliform bacteria, one of the most commonly tested-for impurities in drinking water, city leaders have opted to have all such tests done locally. The same option is open to local residents who want to use the services of the Sunnyside lab.

Public Works Superintendent Ken Ott said local citizens, both those living within the city limits and rural residents, who want only coliform bacteria testing done, now have the option of dropping off their drinking water samples at Ag Health Laboratories, Inc., located at 445 Barnard Blvd. in Sunnyside. Those who are seeking to have their drinking water tested for other impurities, though, will need to use the Union Gap lab or a lab of their own choice.

Ott said even though city hall will no longer be a drop-off site for those wanting their samples sent to the Union Gap lab, there is still a place in Sunnyside that will collect all samples on a weekly basis.

"The new drop-off site is the Port of Sunnyside operations office, at 625 Midvale Road," said Ott.

He explained that drinking water samples earmarked for Union Gap's Cascade Analytical, Inc. lab can be dropped off at the Port office on Mondays, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. All samples are scheduled to reach the Union Gap lab by Tuesday morning. Cascade Analytical has made available at the Port office sample containers, analysis request forms and sampling instructions.

Ott said the city has opted to have all of its coliform bacteria testing done at the Sunnyside lab because city leaders believe in the philosophy of shopping at home whenever possible.

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