What is arsenic?

  • tasteless
  • odorless
  • colorless
  • metal found in rocks and soil
  • comes from volcanos, mining, smelting, coal-fired power plants, and geothermal activity.

What are the health effects in having high levels of arsenic in well water?

  • thickening and discoloration of the skin
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • heart, lung, liver, immune, nervous, or reproduction system disorders and diabetes
  • in extreme cases it causes cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, liver, and prostate
  • developmental problems in pregnant women.

When should I test my well water for arsenic?

  • Well water should be tested in the spring
  • the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act requires municipally-supplied drinking water to be tested of arsenic, which means that you are in charge of your own private well water testing

arsenic sources for the arsenic well water page

Source: Idaho department of water resources  https://www.idwr.idaho.gov/WaterInformation/GWQuality/FactSheets/Arsenic...

 

What to do if arsenic is in your water?

 

What are treatments for arsenic removal for private drinking water wells?

  • Reverse osmosis: cost-effective method but produces 2-3 gallons daily
  • Anionic exchange system: little maintenance and treats the entire house but the treated water can have a low pH, high levels of chloride, and if the system fails all of the captured arsenic can be released at once
  • Iron oxide filter systems: can be used as point if entry systems and they are disposable as non-hazardous waste but they must be replaced on a regular basis
  • Switch drinking water sources