Your Water and Arsenic: Is the deadly poison in your Water Supply?
Written by Allison Clark-Dondzila
Water is essential to our everyday lives but safe water is essential to our health. The word arsenic puts fear in our eyes and for good reason. For some people it may not even cross their minds that arsenic could be in their water supply. This brings up some questions: Have you tested your water? Do you have arsenic in your private well? Is there a way to remove arsenic from water? If you have not tested your water you may want to think about doing so. Why? Because over a long period of time the health effects from arsenic can cost you your life.
Arsenic occurs naturally in rock, sand or gravel. Arsenic consumption can be a danger to your health causing illnesses including bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. Arsenic harms the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as, heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems.Research shows that skin contact with arsenic is not a significant risk: showering, washing dishes, and laundering are fine. Only water used for cooking and drinking is a health concern.
In Washtenaw County new homes and home sales require an arsenic water sample be taken by a registered well driller or a time of sale inspector at the water supply. Arsenic results must be 10 parts per billion or less (.01 or less). We have a certified time of sale inspector on staff, as well as, registered well drillers to take an arsenic sample for you. These requirements were put into effect to protect the public from the health risks of arsenic but what about the homes already established that aren’t new builds and homes that haven’t been sold? These wells should be tested for arsenic too.
If you find arsenic in your water supply there are two options to remove it from your water: installation of a Whole House Arsenic Removal System or an under the sink Reverse Osmosis System. Depending on the level of arsenic you may be required to get the whole house unit but for lower levels the Reverse Osmosis will suffice. We carry both products and have staff available to install these systems.
Your health is important, test your water for arsenic. Arsenic sample bottles are available at the Washtenaw County Environmental Health Department located at 705 North Zeeb Rd. in Ann Arbor. Or from Cribley Well Drilling at 8300 Dexter-Chelsea Rd. Dexter, Mi. 48130. Arsenic tests cost $17.00.