Arsenic in well water
Arsenic in well water is one of our top safety concerns regarding New Hampshire residents’ drinking water. One in five homes on well water have actionable levels of arsenic. Testing and residential water filtration is the only way to make well water with arsenic safe for your family.
Why is arsenic in well water concerning?
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 has no taste, odor or color to warn us of its presence.
Fortunately, New Hampshire has one of the strictest regulations for arsenic in the country, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb) or micrograms per liter (equivalent to a couple drops of ink in an Olympic-size swimming pool). Unfortunately, arsenic levels for residents on private wells aren’t regulated.
We estimate 20-30% of NH wells have arsenic levels higher than state and federal regulations (10 ppb).
One of our certified water specialists recently met with a customer to test her well water. She was ill, and discovered arsenic in her body from a heavy metal test of her hair. When she bought the house 10 years ago, there wasn’t a home inspection, and the water tasted fine, so there was no well testing.
Arsenic poisoning is very rare, but arsenic in your body may cause some serious health problems including:
- Circulatory system problems
- Neurological issues
- Skin damage
- Cancers such as bladder cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Immunological disorders
Public health officials call arsenic an accumulative enabler, meaning the health effects accumulate over time. Arsenic is concerning because it is both a pervasive and volatile element in our state. Untreated water tests could reveal relatively low arsenic levels one day, and dangerously high levels a month later.
Testing and treating arsenic in well water
Secondwind offers a free water test for New Hampshire residents, which does not include arsenic in well water. We take arsenic samples to be tested by an independent lab for a $30 lab fee. If arsenic is in your water and you decide to treat it, your first decision is whether you treat the drinking water at the point of use (sink) or the whole house known as point of entry.
We often tell customers that when it comes to residential water filtration equipment and installation, you get what you pay for. We offer the K5 Drinking Water System from Kinetico, a leading water treatment systems company with products built in the U.S. The K5 is a reverse osmosis water filtration system, that can be used as point of use or whole house.
With a reverse osmosis system, your water passes through a semipermeable membrane that changes the concentration of dissolved elements. Water is forced against the membrane under pressure. Contaminants, including arsenic, are rejected by the membrane and only water passes through. Reverse osmosis technology greatly reduces the total dissolved solids in your water. When combined with other filtration technologies, some reverse osmosis systems also remove protozoa, bacteria and viruses.
Aside from arsenic, a reverse osmosis system can also reduce elevated levels of:
Every reverse osmosis system we install is designed by a certified water specialist with expertise in both mechanics and water chemistry. Pairing a drinking water system with a water softener extends the life of your water filtration system. Contact us today for a free water test.