By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County faulted on air and water qualtiy

That ranking, which dragged down the county’s overall score considerably, was based on air and water pollution.

The county averaged 10 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air, compared to a national average of 9.1. Also scoring poorly on air quality, compared to the rest of the state, were Clatsop, Columbia, Clackamas, Washington, Hood River and Tillamook counties.

Drinking water safety was calculated according to the percentage of the population getting its water from public systems that had at least one health-based violation in 2012. It ran 29 percent for Yamhill County, compared to just 3 percent for the state as a whole.

Also scoring pooring on water quality were Umatilla County at 34 percent, Malheur County at 31 percent, Jefferson County at 20 percent and Tillamook County at 17 percent.

In February 2012, Grand Ronde residents were placed on a boil water notice for most of the month, after a test from one of the system’s springs tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Operators had to flush the system with chlorine.

Though McMinnville has been problem-free, some of the county’s smaller cities have also suffered from periodic contamination problems resulting in boil-water orders.

The county ranked 13th of 33 in health behaviors, including adult smoking, obesity, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, fatal vehicle crashes, sexually transmitted disease incidence and teen birth rates. It scored lower in most health behavior areas than the state as a whole, but did not rank among the worst offenders in any given category.

It ranked 12th of 33 in access to clinical care, with one physician for every 1,381 residents and one dentist for every 2,185.

The county ranked relatively high in overall health outcomes, though not at the top of the list. It also scored well on a set of six socioeconomic factors, including high school graduation, college education, children living in poverty, children living in single-parent households, inadequate social support and violent crime.

The foundation partnered with the University of Wisconsin on the study. For a more detailed look, visit


Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS