If you’re one of the 40% of New Hampshire residents that depend on a well for your water, you may have tested for arsenic already. If not, there is good reason to do so. There are a number of health issues that result from long-term exposure to arsenic in your home’s water. NH has a relatively high incidence of arsenic and it is something that we here at Secondwind treat for often.
Arsenic Is A Common Water Problem in New Hampshire
Arsenic is one of the most common elements of the earth’s crust. It is present in our bedrock and small amounts dissolve into the water that travels through the rock. It ends up in the water we pull from our wells and offers no taste, odor or color to warn us of its presence.
More than 75% of the wells in New Hampshire are bedrock wells, and 20-30% of all private bedrock wells are above the EPA arsenic limit of over 10 parts per billion. A lot of people don’t really know how much that is. 10 parts per billion is roughly equivalent to a few drops of ink in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Long-term arsenic exposure can be fatal at 1 – 3 ppb. Accordingly, NH has taken the step of reducing the acceptable limit in the state to 5 ppb to in order to protect our families from this mostly naturally occurring contaminant.
Arsenic Can Be A Serious Health Issue
Some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of EPA’s standard over many years have experiences circulatory system problems, neurological issues and skin damage. People who are exposed at higher levels and have an increased risk of getting a few different types of cancer.
Treating Your Well Water
If you test your water and find out that you have arsenic in your water, you’ll have some decisions to make about if and how you treat it. Every home and well is different, and depending on what else is in your water will help determine the best treatment possible.
Treatment strategies take into account whether you are concerned about skin contact or drinking water only.
If you want to learn more before having your water tested, we encourage you to sign up for our upcoming free online Water Break that will focus on health issues. You may have had your water tested and know you have arsenic in your water. This session is also for you!
In this brief, casual and small online gathering, you’ll have an opportunity to hear about how the contaminants like arsenic, radon, uranium and PFOAs can impact you and your family.
And, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions. Limited session size of 25 allows for more detailed responses.
You can sign up here. All you need is a computer with speakers and microphone, or a smartphone. We use Zoom for these sessions.