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arsenic in drinking water

This has been a rising concern over the last few years. We have received many calls and answered many questions. This information is for the purpose of education, not to create fear. 

Let’s start with some quick facts from the Minnesota Dept. of Health:

Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and rock and can dissolve into groundwater. Inorganic arsenic is the type found in contaminated drinking water and is the most harmful type of arsenic. 

Some arsenic in the environment comes from human activity. Arsenic was an ingredient in some pesticides and was used as a wood preservative for wood foundations, decks, and children’s outdoor play structures.

Many water contaminants are given a MCL (maximum contaminant level) by the EPA or state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for arsenic in drinking water is 10 micrograms per liter or less.

Very few municipal water systems have detected arsenic levels above the EPA standard. You can check your municipal water testing by finding your city’s Consumer Confidence Report here.  

Arsenic is primarily a well water issue. Approximately 10 percent of private drinking water wells in Minnesota have arsenic levels higher than 10 grams/liter. The Minnesota Dept. of Health has a map showing areas for wells with arsenic levels higher than 10 micrograms/liter here.

What are the effects of arsenic? Drinking water with low levels of arsenic over a long time is associated with diabetes and increased risk of cancers of the bladder, lungs, liver, and other organs. Arsenic can also contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, reduced intelligence in children, and skin problems, such as lesions, discoloration, and the development of corns. Health impacts of arsenic may take many years to develop, especially if you are in contact with arsenic at a low level over a long time.

There are several options to treating arsenic, but there is no “one size fits all”. Each situation is different depending on the overall water quality and level of arsenic coming into your home.

If you have a concern about arsenic in your water supply, please contact us and we can help guide you to the proper testing and proper solution for your home.www.treatmywater.com or 800-879-2220.