Should I test my well water for arsenic?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

According to the Florida Department of Health, the areas where arsenic is frequently found in Florida are along the west coast, from Dixie County south to Hillsborough County, and the western half of Polk County. Arsenic occurs naturally in soil and rock, and can dissolve into groundwater. Since arsenic in water has no taste or smell, the only way to detect its presence is lab testing. 

    Private well owners are not required to test for arsenic, but it is a good idea when you are in one of the areas of higher risk outlined above. If the lab report indicates your well water is contaminated with arsenic, you should contact the local county health department to discuss your options. 

    There are also medical tests, utilizing blood, urine, hair or fingernails, to determine the level of arsenic in your body. The urine test is considered best if you are trying to determine if there has been recent exposure.

Symptoms of acute, brief exposure to arsenic include abdominal pain, vomiting, and watery diarrhea that contains blood. Long-term exposure symptoms are thickened skin, darker skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, heart disease, numbness, and cancer. Arsenic can be removed from water by using special filters designed for arsenic removal.

    Also, see our blog post What is the danger of radon in well water?

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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about WELLS:

What is the blue dumbbell-shaped tank at the well equipment?

What is the tank marked "potassium permanganate" in the water treatment system for? 

Does an abandoned well need to be capped or removed?

Does a homeowner need a permit to drill a water well on their property in Florida? 

Is a high iron level in well water a health hazard?

How often should a well be disinfected?  

What size generator do I need to run my submersible well pump?

Why would a well need to have a chlorinator/dechlorinator system? 

Why does my well pump turn on and off every time I use water?

• What is the required water testing for an FHA, VA, or USDA mortgage application? 

     Visit our WELLS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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