Arsenic in Drinking Water

AAA Pump and Drilling can facilitate water testing, water purification system design and installation.  Contact us today and schedule a service call if you have questions about arsenic and your water quality.

What is Arsenic?

Arsenic is an element that is naturally occurring and commonly found in the earth’s crust.  In its natural state, arsenic combines with chlorine, oxygen and sulfur to form various types of inorganic arsenic.   Inorganic arsenic compounds are the common types of arsenic that are tested for and found in drinking water; notably in drilled and shallow wells.

How does arsenic affect the health of the Consumer?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the EPA and The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have determined that inorganic arsenic is a carcinogen* to humans.  It can enter the body by breathing in high levels which can results in damage to the throat and lungs.  Commonly it is ingested through drinking water.  Ingesting low levels of arsenic over time can have a negative impact on major organs and systems of the body.  Notably the skin, liver, and the nervous system are those parts of the body most affected by long term, chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic.  At high levels inorganic arsenic can cause death.

*(A carcinogen is a known cancer causing agent.)

Why is there Arsenic in my water?

Naturally occurring arsenic is found in rock formations.  These formations may have water that passes through them dissolving the arsenic and carrying it on to aquifers, lakes and rivers.  It is by this means that arsenic may find its way into your drinking water.  Arsenic can enter your drinking water through other man made processes too, such as mining, commercial lumber processing plants and some agricultural activities.

Can arsenic be removed from drinking water?

Yes.  There are a variety of methods used to remove inorganic arsenic from drinking water.  It is important to note that not all approved methods will work in any given application.  The variables can be quite extensive when it comes to deciding on what type of technology to use to remove and/or reduce the arsenic in your drinking water to safe levels.  Water characteristics change from well to well and no two are commonly the same.  Because of this, before deciding on a water treatment or purification system it is important to have a comprehensive water quality test completed by a certified lab. In some cases the state may require that you have an engineer design your treatment system if you have high levels of arsenic in your drinking water.  Contact AAA Pump and Drilling today and we can help you navigate these options and help ensure a cost effective system tailored to your specific needs that is designed to last and be sustainable.

It is important to have your well water tested for arsenic, bacteria, and nitrates.  If you are in an older home it is recommended to have your water tested for lead as well.  If any of those contaminants should come up positive when testing your drinking they should be tested for at a minimum annually.   Even with water purification or water treatment systems installed, testing is a critical part of ensuring that your systems are working correctly and delivering safe drinking water to your home and family.