A groundwater advisory committee is moving ahead in their effort to ensure the water is safe to drink in southern Deschutes County. “We have pretty much finalized our committee charter. It’s a document that outlines how the committee functions, and the goals and objectives of the committee. We are hopeful that committee members will sign the document at this upcoming meeting.” Robert Baggett is with the DEQ in Bend. Some scientists are concerned with septic tank outflow pushing too many nitrates into the groundwater. South county residents revolted when Deschutes County tried to force expensive septic tank upgrades. This new committee is organized by the State Department of Environmental Quality as they state takes the lead role in the issue. The committee's next meeting is December 7th in La Pine.