Should I Test My Well for Arsenic?

March 11, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

Arsenic in water can come from either natural or manmade sources. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to test for arsenic when completing well testing in Tampa, FL.

The presence of arsenic isn’t necessarily problematic. It is a natural element found in the earth’s crust and appears in abundance in soil and rock. That arsenic can dissolve into the groundwater surrounding your well. Industrial activities can also add arsenic into the groundwater in some circumstances, though it is not used nearly as frequently these days as it was historically for pesticides or other products.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about testing for arsenic.

When is arsenic testing necessary?

Whether you need to test for arsenic depends on where in the state of Florida you’re located. Typically, the Florida Department of Health will recommend these tests in areas where arsenic is most frequently found, which usually includes west coast counties from Dixie County down to Hillsborough County, and in some of the western portion of Polk County.

Keep in mind that you likely will not have any indication that arsenic is present in your water, as the substance has neither taste nor odor. The only way to confirm the presence of arsenic in your water is to get a test.

You are also under no requirement to have your well tested, even if you live in one of those aforementioned areas—it just might be beneficial for you to do so. Should you decide to get your well water tested, you will need to do so with a Department-certified laboratory, and pay for the testing yourself. If you do not use a certified laboratory, you cannot trust that the test results will be accurate.

If you do discover you have arsenic in your well water, you’ll want to contact your county health department to discuss the steps you’ll need to take to resolve the problem.

There are also tests that can determine the level of arsenic to which you have been exposed. In these tests, researchers collect blood, urine, hair or fingernail samples. If you believe the exposure occurred within the last few days, the urine test is usually the best test to use.

But if you wish to avoid issues with arsenic altogether, it’s in your best interest to connect to a municipal water supply system whenever possible. Obviously, this is not always an available option, especially for people who live in more rural areas, but municipal water systems are regularly tested for a wide range of contaminants, including arsenic. In addition, municipal systems, unlike private wells, are subject to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules about water quality and contaminants, so you can trust the water has been thoroughly treated to remove these contaminants.

If connecting to a municipal system isn’t an option, you can also prevent issues with arsenic by installing a water treatment system at home, such as a reverse osmosis or ion exchange treatment system.

For more information about well testing for arsenic in Tampa, FL, contact Advanced Pump & Well Service today.

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