NH clean water infrastructure and the continued importance of testing
The recently-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will expand clean drinking water access for millions of Americans. This includes eliminating lead service lines and dangerous PFAS chemicals. The national investment totals $55 billion.
Secondwind Water applauds all efforts toward clean drinking water for Americans, as there are currently more than 10 million people in the country without access to safe water. New Hampshire drinking water quality is included in the bill, with $418 million allocated over five years to improve water infrastructure in the state by addressing existing lead pipes and water contaminants.
The NH congressional delegation announced in December 2021 that $72.6 million from the federal infrastructure package will go toward updating wastewater and drinking water systems during 2022.
“This bipartisan infrastructure bill will…build on the work already being done to improve infrastructure projects of all types and invest in clean drinking water for all Granite Staters through the funding in the drinking water and clean water state revolving funds,” said New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Assistant Commissioner Mark Sanborn.
What about NH wells?
Nearly half of New Hampshire residents depend on well water for drinking and bathing. It’s currently unclear how those residents will benefit from the bill as well water is not regulated under public water systems. (Some NH municipalities do require testing of private wells.)
Unfortunately, many residents on wells don’t regularly test their water, according to a Dartmouth College study in 2014, and there’s no current requirement for testing. The study notes that 20% of tested wells had unsafe levels of arsenic.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 20 percent of private wells in the NH have arsenic above the 5 parts per billion limit enforceable for public water systems.
Arsenic in well water
Arsenic in NH water is a naturally-occurring element of the earth’s crust. Arsenic in the ground has easy access to drilled wells. Arsenic is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, so residents with unsafe levels of arsenic won’t know of the dangers without testing.
Long term exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancers, cardiovascular disease, immunological disorders, diabetes and neurological issues. Arsenic is described as an “accumulative enabler”, as health effects accumulate over time.
Test your well water
Secondwind Water offers free site evaluations for residents on well water. We’ll arrange arsenic testing on well water and will interpret the test results for you. Every situation is different, and our expert water treatment specialists look at your specific needs when helping you choose a solution.
- A Point of Use solution removes arsenic at the place you drink water, such as the kitchen. This common approach uses reverse osmosis (RO) technology with the system located either under the kitchen sink or in the basement below the kitchen. The treated water is plumbed to a separate tap at the sink and can also be hooked up to the refrigerator. For higher levels, a cartridge of a specialty media can be added after the RO system. This provides a level of redundancy and assures non-detectable arsenic in the drinking water.
- A Point of Entry, or whole house solution, includes a system located near the well pressure tank where the water enters the home. All water is treated before use. Some customers prefer the peace of mind this offers, but the trade-off is that system capacity is used for functions such as toilet flushing and clothes washing where the arsenic is not as high a concern. The cost for a whole house solution is higher than point of use. Technologies for whole house treatment include adsorption onto specialty media and removal through ion exchange, with a water softener like system.
Contact us today to assist with your well water testing and to discuss your options.