We always encourage those with private wells to test for contaminants in their water, because sometimes what appears to be safe or clean water is not safe water. Some of the most harmful contaminants are undetectable and do not change the way your water looks or tastes. One of these contaminants is arsenic.
Arsenic is a major health concern, and is very common in New Hampshire. Long-term exposure to arsenic is linked to an increased risk of cancers of the liver, bladder, kidney, and skin, as well as vasuclar disease and other health problems.
So where does arsenic come from? Arsenic is a metal-like element that occurs naturally in New Hampshire bedrock. It also exists in runoff from manmade substances such as pesticides, pressure-treated lumber peservatives, and more. Over 500,000 homeowners using well water are estimated to have arsenic in their water.
The EPA has set standards and guidelines to help us determine what are safe levels of all contaminants in our drinking water. The only way to ensure that your drinking water quality is acceptable within EPA standards, is to have your water tested by a state certified laboratory.
The Union Leader recently published an article to warn NH residents of arsenic. The article is very comprehensive, and you can read it here: Water in some NH wells is worrisome