Boeing Fabrication Auburn Plant

What is groundwater?   en español

“Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers.” Source.

How is contamination studied in groundwater?

A network of monitoring wells has been installed throughout the site to monitor the locations and concentrations of contaminants over time. There are three levels of groundwater that are sampled:

  • Deep zone (80 to 100 ft. deep)
  • Intermediate zone (40 to 60 ft. deep)
  • Shallow zone - includes water table (0 to 30 ft. deep)

Areas where groundwater discharges to the surface, such as ditches or ponds, are also sampled regularly.

Graphic showing how groundwater systems work. 

Is the drinking water safe?

Yes. The water in homes and businesses in the area comes from public water systems that are regularly monitored by the Washington Department of Health (Health). Ecology continues to evaluate the boundaries of the contaminated groundwater. To date, the contaminated area is outside protection areas for public water system wells. Also, the area's groundwater flow carries the contaminants away from these wells. Finally, recent data collected as part of the Health Department's monitoring under the Safe Drinking Water Act show no chemicals of concern detected.

Private wells are not monitored by the Health Department. Contact Ecology if you have a private well.

For additional information:
Department of Health Consultation Fact Sheet
Technical Memorandum: Critical Area/Wellhead Protection Ordinance Review; Landau Associates on behalf of Boeing; April 14, 2010