“NGWA recommends that private well owners test their water annually for bacteria, nitrate and anything of local concern, the latter of which could include arsenic for some Pennsylvanians,” said NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens.
The U.S. Geological Survey announced in April that 8 percent of more than 5,000 wells tested across Pennsylvania have groundwater with levels of arsenic at or above federal standards for safe drinking. An additional 12 percent had elevated levels, though they did not exceed federal standards.
The findings were part of a USGS survey done in conjunction with the Pennsylvania departments of Health and Environmental Protection.
NGWA urges well owners to test their water using a certified testing lab.
“Whether arsenic comes from manmade sources or occurs naturally in certain types of geology, as is the case in parts of Pennsylvania, it can be a local concern worth testing for the well owner,” said Treyens. Home water treatment technologies are readily available to remove arsenic.
Pennsylvania is one region where arsenic levels are often naturally higher. In addition to testing for arsenic, NGWA says owners should test for radon, nitrates and coliform bacteria. Owners are urged to check with local health departments for recommendations on the type and frequency of testing for specific regions.
To learn more about water wells and water quality, visit NGWA’s website, www.wellowner.org.
NGWA, a nonprofit organization composed of U.S. and international groundwater professionals—contractors, equipment manufacturers, suppliers, scientists, and engineers—is dedicated to advancing groundwater knowledge. NGWA’s vision is to be the leading groundwater association that advocates the responsible development, management and use of water.