Arsenic and Your Well Water: What You Need to Know About Arsenic to Keep Your Family Safe

Approximately 15 million households get their water from a private well; however, some of those wells are contaminated with arsenic. About 13 percent of untreated water wells are unhealthy, meaning they are contaminated with something -- arsenic, uranium or boron to name a few -- at levels that exceed federal health regulations. If you're not connected to a public water supply, you have to worry about contaminants, such as arsenic, that may infect your private water supply. This is especially true if you live in an area where arsenic contamination is common. Following are just a few things you need to know about arsenic so you can keep your family safe. 

Arsenic Contamination Is Regional

As mentioned, some private water wells are more likely to be contaminated with arsenic simply because they are located in areas where the ground is contaminated with arsenic. Areas where concentrations are high include the New England states, Texas and several areas in the Midwest. To find out if there are problems with arsenic in your area, consult the maps provided by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Properties that have a great deal of sandy and/or gravel-type soil are also at an increased risk. 

Testing Your Well Is Cheap

Many people think that their well is safe from contamination because of its depth. However, contamination can occur in wells of any depth. The only real way to know whether or not your well is contaminated with arsenic is to test it regularly. You can do so yourself with a test kit or test meter. The cost for these items range from $15 to $150, depending on what you buy. Most products are on the low end of the price range. You should test your well at least once per year. 

Arsenic Contamination Is Treatable

If your well tests positive for excessive levels of arsenic, you don't have to fill in your well and start over. You can have your well treated for arsenic. However, you should drink bottled water until your treatment company tells you that your water is safe. A treatment system for removing arsenic from your well can cost up to $3,000. 

Arsenic poisoning is a serious condition that can cause mild, moderate and severe symptoms, depending on the concentration levels of the arsenic. It can even be deadly. If you or a family member has abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms and you suspect arsenic poisoning, seek medical treatment immediately. 

For more information, contact a company like Valley Pump Inc.