Recommendations would apply to cities and farmers within the groundwater management area, where studies have shown nitrate levels in groundwater exceeding levels considered safe for drinking.

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After years of study, there are possible revisions to a plan to reduce nitrates in groundwater in the Lower Yakima Valley recommending drastic changes that may impact farmers, residents and municipalities.

Those recommendations include having cities extend water and sewer services to urban growth areas, having dairies line manure ponds and establishing irrigation plans for farmers to follow.

These recommendations would apply to cities and farmers within the groundwater management area, where studies have shown nitrate levels in groundwater exceeding levels considered safe for drinking. That area reaches from just below Union Gap along the east bank of the Yakima River to south of Grandview and Mabton and includes those cities as well as Zillah, Granger and Sunnyside.

The plan has been devised by a work group that includes county, state and federal agencies as well as residents, farmers and environmentalists.

On Thursday, the group will decide whether to approve the plan. If so, the plan will be reviewed by the state Department of Ecology, which would hold a public hearing. Eventually, the plan would be subject to a State Environmental Policy Act review.