As shocking as it may sound, it is not uncommon to find arsenic in water. Arsenic is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making it impossible to detect with the naked eye. Certain levels of arsenic are permissible in public and private water sources. But what should you do if the arsenic level in your water exceeds the limit?
This post answers all your questions. Read on to find out the arsenic water limits and how to reduce arsenic levels in well water.
What Is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a naturally occurring semi-metallic element in the earth’s crust. The ticker ‘As’ element has vast agricultural and industrial uses. Being a byproduct of copper smelting means arsenic can combine with other chemicals to make insecticides and wood preservatives.
Some states have more arsenic-rich rocks than others. Such states include Arizona, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, and the Rockies regions. It is not shocking to find higher arsenic levels in the wells of those states.
How Does Arsenic Enter a Well System?
Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil. The semi-metallic compound can seep into the water when the water table drops to the bedrock containing arsenic components. Water then flows through the arsenic-rich soils and rocks, converting arsenic into solution form in water deposits in the wells.
Also, manufacturing companies illegally dump arsenic into the environment, which penetrates the soil and spreads to the wells. Manufacturers’ arsenic compounds are usually inorganic, which is the most toxic form of arsenic.
There is a direct correlation between elevated arsenic levels and hydrogeologic, geochemical, and well-construction factors. Shorter well screen lengths usually go hand in hand with an increased arsenic concentration in the well water. Soil geochemistry is also an influential factor in the occurrence of arsenic in water. The state of Pennsylvania provides maps showing areas likely to have arsenic-rich bedrocks.
Normally, wells have higher arsenic levels due to the contact time between the bedrock and water. Arsenic has two leading organic derivatives, arsenite and arsenate. The two components concentrate in water and increase arsenic levels in drinking water. At first, this may not pose a threat but is detrimental to your health in the long run.
The Risks of Arsenic
Arsenic usually passes through our bodies with no significant impact. But you should know that arsenic is a carcinogen. Continued exposure to the carcinogenic element has implications more far-reaching than cancer. Here are some risks of ingesting arsenic filled water:
- Inhibits fetus development for pregnant women.
- Skin discoloration.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- It affects the cardiovascular system.
- Partial paralysis.
The elderly, unborn, and newborns are at the most risk of developing the above complications when ingesting water containing elevated levels of arsenic. Therefore, you should seek a professional doctor’s testing services if you suspect exposure to arsenic. Proper tests can detect arsenic in blood, urine, hair, and nails.
How to Get Rid of Arsenic Water in Wells?
Public and private wells in Bucks County, PA and Surrounding Areas may contain excessive arsenic. State regulations limit the arsenic level to 10ppb (parts per billion) or 0.010 mg/L for public wells. Private wells are exempt from the restriction but put users at health risk if they don’t keep arsenic levels below the maximum contaminant level (MCL).
At Blue Heron Water, we recommend testing your well once every three years to gauge the arsenic levels in the water. A state-certified officer checks the arsenic levels and executes an arsenic removal plan.
If your water has elevated amounts of arsenic, stop drinking and using the water for domestic purposes. Instead, use bottled water. Attempting to boil the water to reduce arsenic only exacerbates the situation.
Instead, try proven methods such as reverse osmosis (RO), ion exchange, ultrafiltration, and distillation. RO is a highly effective method that forces water through a semi-permeable membrane. As water flows through the membrane, it deposits arsenic, lead, and radon contaminants. RO is 95 % effective but produces 2 to 3 gallons of water a day in a point-of-use system.
Some water purification methods fill the bill for water entry points, while others work best for point-of-use locations. Contacting a Newtown water specialist before purchasing a water treatment system is imperative to determine the best solution for you.
Consult Our Team for the Results You Need
Bucks County, PA and Surrounding Areas residents have ready access to top-line testing and arsenic removal in their well water systems. Blue Heron Water Newtown water specialists use state-of-the-art technology to check arsenic levels in water and develop solutions depending on your needs.
Reach out to ensure your home has safe drinking water. Our honest pricing model and attention to detail are why Blue Heron Water customers just like you want to work with us.