FARMINGTON — The Davis County Health Department is seeking the owners of the 14 known properties that once had contamination from methamphetamine production and is offering to pay for new tests.

According to former standards, all 14 properties were cleaned up and declared safe for habitation, said health department director Lewis Garrett. But the Utah Department of Health now has standards that are more strict, and Garrett wants to retest the properties according to the new cleanliness standard.

The new standard, Garrett said, says that a home hasn't been sufficiently cleaned if meth can be detected.

When Davis County had oversight of 22 properties — eight of which no longer exist — there was no standard, Garrett said.

At the time, investigators checked for traces of the toxic chemicals that are meth's ingredients. And when those chemicals couldn't be detected, the property was deemed safe for occupancy.

Cleanup involved ripping up carpet, double- or triple-cleaning vents and painting the walls.

No one has reported meth chemical-related illnesses from those homes, Garrett said.

Garrett said he wants to go back and test the remaining 14 properties at the expense of the health department.

"It felt like the right thing to do," he said.

Each test costs about $40, and results take about three days.

But it hasn't been easy contacting the property owners, some of whom live out of state. One has declined the testing so far, Garrett said.

Because other phone calls haven't been returned, the health department is trying to contact the owners by certified mail to make sure they receive the offer for the voluntary retest.

Garrett said the last time a home was identified as a meth home was September 2006.

"What we've seen in the meth world is that 10 years ago and longer the production was in homes," he said. "Now production has shifted, to a large part, out of the country and (traffickers) are bringing it in."

So it's rare to find a meth-production home in Davis County. Even the total number of homes for which the health department had oversight — 22 — pales in comparison to the number in neighboring Salt Lake County, where there are hundreds.

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