Arsenic belongs to semiconductors, not your water well.

This so-called “king of poisons” exposes millions of Americans to health horrors like cancer. Although traces of arsenic are more common in the West, wherever there’s pesticide or farm droppings, arsenic is sure to follow. Making it worse is the fact that many have no idea that they’ve been drinking tainted water all this time.

What to do if your drinking water contains arsenic

It’s probably no big deal for homes hooked up to a water main, but it is for homes with private wells. Like most surface contaminants, arsenic finds its way into underground water sources, often with the help of rain. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the safety threshold at 10 parts per billion; but in truth, even the slightest hint can be deadly as the toxins build up.

As far as Athens is concerned, data from the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that it’s generally safe. However, take note that the survey, taken in 2012, only checked a small percentage of wells. Arsenic in Atlanta’s wells range between 0 and 2.9 parts per billion, with a few outside Roswell and Gainesville in the red.

It’s for this reason that new wells must be drilled and tested before being built. Laboratories offer water testing services for a fee (if you bring the sample in person, you’ll pay less). It’s up to you whether or not to proceed with building a well when the results return as negligible. However, for good measure, invest in a reverse osmosis system.

If your existing well contains too much arsenic, you need a new well. State laws govern proper abandonment of wells, which must be done by a licensed well service in Athens, GA like Athens Plumbing & Well Service. This involves sealing the well with clay and soil to prevent any surface contaminant from making its way into the groundwater.

As many well services are also in the plumbing business, they can also repair cracks and leaks in the well system to prevent contamination. Normally, some cues for leaking or damaged wells involve a loss of water pressure or dirty water gushing out of the tap. These should your tip-off to contact a reliable Athens, GA plumber or a well service specialist.

(Source: “What to do if your drinking water contains arsenic,” The Center for Public Integrity)